Late last week, one of the members of the Lanark Frontenac Kingston (LFK) Progressive Conservative Party Riding Association, Ann Rawson, sent a letter to Ontario Premier Doug Ford asking that he reinstate MPP Randy Hillier to the Conservative Party Caucus at Queen’s Park.
Ford suspended Hillier from caucus indefinitely after Hillier said “yada, yada, yada” to New Democratic Party MPP Monique Taylor at the end of Question Period in February. Parents of autistic children, who were in the gallery that day, said that they were also being addressed by Hillier, prompting Ford to act in short order.
Later that afternoon, Hillier said that the, “yada, yada, yada” comment was directed only at Taylor, not at the parents in the gallery, but there has been no further comment from the Premier on Hillier’s future.
Speaking for herself, Rawson said “Premier Ford, it is reasonable to ask MPPs to vote with the decisions made by the caucus. It is not reasonable to demand conformity to a particular style - and it is certainly not a reason to throw someone out of caucus. In an age when so many politicians paint on fake facades and compromise their integrity without a second thought, Randy sticks by his beliefs and remains true to himself and the people who elected him … You need to welcome Randy Hillier back to caucus without delay.”
On Tuesday of this week, Mark MacDonald, President of the Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston (LFK) PC riding association, sent a letter on behalf of the riding executive.
After pointing out that Hillier’s comment on February 20 was directed at Monique Taylor, “and not anyone else” MacDonald attempted to convince Ford to reinstate Hillier in the caucus.
“As members of LFK, we strongly feel that expelling our elected member, Mr. Hillier, will alienate all members of LFK. As members of LFK, we wish to continue to work with you. However, in order to do so, we require our elected PC MP, Randy Hillier, to be in caucus. On behalf of the membership, I sincerely hope that you take into account the views of the members and voters of LFK who stand behind Randy Hillier.”