Jul 29, 2020

MPP Randy Hillier has been active on social media in recent weeks. He has been critical of the Ford government, charging it with using the COVID-19 state of emergency as a pretext for a series of omnibus bills which bypass democratic checks on its power, in order to promote initiatives that have nothing to do with the response to the pandemic.

He is not alone in this. The leader of the NDP, Andrea Horwath, has been making many of these points as well.

Hillier has also been critical of mandatory mask orders, which are in place now in both Lanark and Frontenac Counties, and is supportive of challenging the orders at the Ontario Human Rights Commission, a body that he has consistently opposed in the past.

On July 27, he said, in a tweet, that wearing a mask “only generates more fear and causes people to be apprehensive of becoming human again.”

Over the last ten days he has engaged in a running debate on twitter with Perth Doctor Alan Drummond, who is the co-chair for public affairs with the Canadian Federation of Emergency Room Physicians.

That debate appears to be over now, as Hillier tweeted on July 28.

“It appears the good doctor @alandrummond2 does not want to engage in debate of facts whether on covid or guns but prefers everyone obey and show deference to his opinions. Facts matter to me more than career choices”.

MPP Hillier appears to support another group of doctors, however. The group is called “America’s Frontline Doctors”. They appeared in Washington DC last weekend to advocate for alternative treatments for COVID-19. The video from that media event, which was also retweeted by US President Donald Trump, has been pulled off social media.

A Facebook spokesman said the group’s video was removed for “sharing false information about cures and treatments for COVID-19”.

Among the claims in the video, in which a group of mask-free, white coated doctors, make a series of claims. Among them is that mask wearing is not effective in slowing the spread of the virus, and another is that the drug hydro-chloroquine is an effective treatment for COVID-19.

In his tweet linking to a site called BitChute, where the video remains posted after being pulled from Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter, Hillier wrote: I watched this video yesterday and it is a powerful presentation against the COVID orthodoxy of fear. Social media censors on Facebook have been removing the video from all sites. Watch, as doctors speak truth to power and challenge the narrative.”

BitChute is described by Wikipedia as “a video hosting service known for accommodating far-right individuals and conspiracy theorists.”

While this excursion of MPP Hillier, into the debates that are more prevalent in the United States than in Canada, might be interesting to some, I certainly hope our MPP is using his own free time on his twitter adventures.

He was elected in 2018 to serve the interests of the residents of Frontenac Lanark Kingston and receives a salary to spend his working days promoting our interests at Queen’s Park and within the riding.

MPP Hillier has been championing the interests of small business people in the riding, people who he says are victims of government policy and fear mongering about COVID-19.

It is hard to see how tweeting about America’s Frontline Doctors and linking to BitChute, while questioning the integrity of someone like Dr. Alan Drummond, who has been a dedicated medical professional in his community for decades, will help bring credibility to that cause, or to Hillier himself.

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