Randy Hillier booted from PC caucus


spaminator
#1
Randy Hillier booted from PC caucus
Brian Lilley
Published:
March 15, 2019
Updated:
March 15, 2019 7:16 PM EDT
MPP Randy Hillier speaks with journalists outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on February 20, 2018.Chris Young / The Canadian Press
It’s official: Randy Hillier is out of the Ontario PC caucus.
The long-time MPP from Eastern Ontario was first elected in 2007 and ran for leadership in 2009, but recently was suspended from caucus over a series of disagreements with those close to the premier.
On Friday, the party’s caucus chair, Daryl Kramp, informed Hillier in writing that he was being expelled permanently.
“This decision has been made after a full review of your conduct prior to and after your suspension,” Kramp wrote.
Hillier was suspended over an event on Feb. 20 that some called the last straw.
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During a heated question period where parents were protesting changes to the Ontario Autism Program, Hillier was heard saying, “Yadda, yadda, yadda.”
Critics said that Hillier aimed his comments at the protesting parents — he said they were aimed at an NDP MPP.
The party issued a long list of grievances for booting him from caucus, including skipping caucus meetings and retreats, skipping the party convention, criticizing the government in the media, and providing the Liberals at Queen’s Park with a chance to use his question in question period.
Hillier denied that he wasn’t a team player but added that he would always put constituents’ needs above party or premier.
Then on March 12, Hillier sent out an email to supporters and started a petition campaign to get back into caucus.
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Yet in that email blast, he attacked two of Premier Doug Ford’s top advisers, his Chief of Staff Dean French and campaign strategist Chris Froggatt.
He accused both men of attempting to co-opt his role as an MPP and said the party’s issues with him were no more than “a laundry list of questionable and childish grievances.”
That letter ultimately sealed Hillier’s fate and ensured the PC caucus would not have him back.
In his letter, Kramp pointed out that Ford had offered to sit down and discuss the issues with Hillier. “In spite of this overture, you continued to escalate the situation in public and in a way that demonstrates an ongoing unwillingness on your part to be a team player.”
Hillier is in Perth in his riding and was not immediately available for comment.
blilley@postmedia.com
http://torontosun.com/news/provincia...from-pc-caucus
 
spaminator
#2
Ousted MPP Randy Hillier strikes back, PCs call claims 'outright lie'
Antonella Artuso
Published:
March 18, 2019
Updated:
March 18, 2019 7:33 PM EDT
MPP Randy Hillier is pictured at Queen's Park on Feb. 20, 2019 after his suspension from the PC caucus. (Jack Boland, Toronto Sun)
Independent MPP Randy Hillier has accused two senior backroom officials of unfairly ousting him from the PC caucus in part for raising concerns of possible illegal and unregistered lobbying by close friends and advisers employed by Premier Doug Ford.
Ford’s spokesman, however, says Hiller’s claims are “an outright lie.”
In a stinging response to his permanent removal, Hillier said Ford’s chief of staff, Dean French, and PC election readiness committee chair Chris Froggatt conducted an “underhanded and relentless” seven-month campaign to have him booted.
“My very first private meeting with Dean French after the June election was at a BBQ at the Ford residence on Aug. 2,” Hillier said in an open statement to his constituents and Ontarians on Monday. “During our conversation, Dean informed me that he ‘wanted me out of caucus.’”
The MPP for Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston said he had hoped that a PC government would represent positive change for the province, and he called it “disheartening” that the change did not take place.
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Instead, the PC backroom “operatives” expelled him for a list of offences like refusing to obtain permission before speaking to the media, demanding MPPs be allowed to engage in debate and committee examinations, and refusing to stand and applaud in the House as ordered.
“Furthermore, I was also condemned for not seeking ‘permission’ to attend my brother’s funeral,” Hillier said. “This, to me, is the most egregious act. It undermines me as a person and thereby undermines all Ontarians by putting party politics above compassion and respect.”
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At a media conference Monday to announce bulk government buying, Treasury Board President Peter Bethlenfalvy and Government and Consumer Services Minister Bill Walker were asked about their former caucus colleague.
Both ministers said they support Ford’s decision to remove Hillier for his refusal to be part of a team, saying he had a poor attendance record and failed to support government positions.
“Being a devil’s advocate, I think is a very healthy thing, to be able to express your view,” Walker said. “But at the end of the day, if the majority says this is where we’re going, then you need to be able to step into that team and say, ‘How can I help.’”
Simon Jefferies, a spokesman for the premier, called Hillier’s claims absurd and false.
“Everything Randy Hillier outlined in his letter is an outright lie,” Jefferies said in a statement. “This further shows Randy Hillier never wanted to be a true member of our PC team despite repeated attempts by Premier Ford to engage him as an important member of our caucus. In fact, Premier Ford made overtures to Randy Hillier since the election to encourage his participation, including naming him as a committee chair.”
As for the individual allegations made by Hillier, including illegal lobbying, Jefferies said they are all false.
“Everyone deserves the proper bereavement and would be afforded the right to do-so,” he said of Hillier’s comments about his brother’s funeral.
Jefferies also said no one records which MPPs stand and applaud in the House.
NDP MPP Taras Natyshak said he will be asking the OPP to investigate the allegations of illegal behaviour.
“The word illegal is not used very often and when you hear those words, red flags should be raised immediately,” Natyshak said. “This has to be given to the proper authorities and that is the OPP.”
Independent MPP Amanda Simard, who left the PC caucus in November after objecting to her party’s Francophone policies, said she also found the party and its premier had no patience with dissenting voices.
Liberal Leader John Fraser , who made a point of noting the increasing number of PC MPPs sitting as independents, said this incident provides an interesting look at the inner workings of the Ford government.
“The allegations Mr. Hillier makes are really very serious — and we know where there’s smoke, there’s fire,” Fraser said.
RANDY HILLIER’S FULL LETTER
An Open Letter to my Constituents and the People of Ontario
It is the fundamental and over-arching first principle of all elected representatives to support their constituents to the best of their ability each and every day. If that is not the first thought of every single elected member each morning then they ought to reflect upon why they serve.
I feel deeply for my supporters and constituents who, like me, shared a belief that the PC Party was deserving of an electoral mandate and voted accordingly. We each believed the PC Party would represent a positive change that would benefit everyone in Ontario.
For twelve years, and through four elections, my constituents have stood with me to demand fair, just, and honest government. It is disheartening to learn that the promised electoral change has not been realized. When I was first elected in 2007, I pledged that I would be their voice and represent the views of the riding in Queens Park, and not just the Party or Premier’s voice in the riding.
I will never break that pledge, regardless of the penalties or punishment.
The last few weeks have not weakened, but instead, have reinforced my convictions with the incredible outpouring of support demonstrating our shared belief in freedom, justice, and democracy.
The PC Caucus was blessed with the election of many new and fresh faces in the June General Election. However, it has become clear that the backroom operatives took advantage of many of the newly elected members who, not being as well informed of parliamentary practices, rights privileges, or conventions, were taken advantage of by Dean French and Chris Froggatt.
Like many people, I had high hopes and expectations with the election of a PC government after 15 years of Liberal mismanagement, scandals, and harmful policies. I could not stand by and tolerate operatives engaging in similar and more egregious acts.
My very first private meeting with Dean French after the June election was at a BBQ at the Ford residence on August 2. During our conversation Dean informed me that he “wanted me out of caucus”. For the following seven months Dean French and Chris Froggatt engaged in an underhanded and relentless campaign to achieve that end.
I have been condemned and expelled from caucus, according to these backroom operatives, for the following reasons:
1. My refusal to breach oath of office;
2. My refusal to accept the obstruction and prevention of caucus criticism or input on public policy;
3. Demanding Members be permitted to engage in debate and committee examinations;
4. My refusal to obtain permission to speak with the media;
5. My priority to place a higher duty to converse, discuss and meet my constituents, rather than attending the party convention.
6. My refusal not to stand and applaud for the routine, (only outstanding performance ought to be recognized as such, or applauding has no meaning);
7. For advancing improvements for the committee I chaired to hear regulatory concerns from Industry, constituents, and stakeholders to implement the government’s commitment to reduce redtape, I was accused of conducting a “power play against the Premier” ;
8. My refusal to do a video supporting the government’s use of the notwithstanding clause;
9. For raising concerns of possible illegal and unregistered lobbying by close friends and advisors employed by Premier Ford;
10. My involvement in the creation of a bi-partisan Parliamentary Reform Committee to discuss improvements of legislative practices.
Furthermore, I was also condemned for not seeking “permission” to attend my brother’s funeral. This, to me, is the most egregious act. It undermines me as a person and thereby undermines all Ontarians by putting party politics above compassion and respect.
These outrageous demands and distortions/corruption of my responsibilities culminated with the following condition of reinstatement to the PC caucus. Even when the government is in violation of the law or engaged in unlawful activity, I must accept these decisions as a team member and neither dissent in caucus nor speak publicly of these illegal/unlawful actions.
I want to assure all of my constituents, regardless of political affiliation, that my removal from the PC Party Caucus will neither prevent nor impede my ability to represent each one of you to the best of my ability. I have never put the party line ahead of my constituents, and my removal from caucus will permit me greater freedom to speak publicly on government policy.
Having conviction is more important than playing politics, that representation of my constituents is more important than being buddies with backroom operatives whose only mission is unrestrained power and control that always leads to corruption. I am now your conservative, independent, Member for Lanark, Frontenac, Kingston, and I continue to be proud to represent you.
Randy Hillier
aartuso@postmedia.com
http://torontosun.com/news/provincia...r-strikes-back
 
spaminator
#3
LILLEY: MPP Randy Hillier drops a bomb
Brian Lilley
Published:
March 18, 2019
Updated:
March 18, 2019 10:20 PM EDT
MPP Randy Hillier speaks to the media at Queens Park on Feb. 20, 2019. (Jack Boland, Toronto Sun)
Randy Hillier dropped a bomb on Queen’s Park Monday and he wasn’t even there.
The former PC MPP from eastern Ontario hasn’t even taken his new seat in the Ontario legislature since he was booted from Doug Ford’s caucus on Feb. 20.
But on Monday, he was the main topic of conversation.
While sitting back home in Perth, Hillier released a letter to his constituents that blasted the Ford government as being run by backroom operatives, namely Ford’s Chief of Staff Dean French and campaign strategist, and lobbyist, Chris Froggatt.
Among the list of reasons that Hillier says he was kicked out of caucus, was this bombshell.
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“For raising concerns of possible illegal and unregistered lobbying by close friends and advisors employed by Premier Ford,” Hillier wrote.
Now Hillier didn’t say that Froggatt was involved in illegal lobbying but he was the only lobbyist mentioned in the letter and the NDP made the connection inside the legislature.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Health Minister Christine Elliott in the legislature on March 7, 2019. Frank Gunn / The Canadian Press
New Democrat MPP Taras Natyshak said Hillier’s accusations leave Ontario residents wondering.
“They’re wondering if Chris Froggatt and Dean French worked out a deal to let people buy their way into Doug Ford’s backrooms,” Natyshak said during question period.
Outside of the legislature, where MPPs are not protected by Parliamentary privilege and can be sued for what they say, Natyshak was more careful with his words. He didn’t link Froggatt to illegal lobbying but did call for a police investigation.
“I’ll be forwarding the information that Mr. Hillier has provided, to the OPP to allow them to review these allegations,” Natyshak said.
Liberal leader John Fraser called for an investigation by the provincial integrity commissioner.
“I think first Mr. Hillier has to come forward and be more specific. And it’s a complaint that should go to the integrity commissioner,” Fraser said.
Hillier wasn’t speaking on Monday, letting his letter do the talking.
Will he say more?
Likely, but we don’t know what.
While the possibility of an OPP investigation is not known, the integrity commissioner is already looking into matters and a full investigation could be confirmed within days.
Neither Hillier nor Froggatt responded to calls for comment on Monday.
The Premier’s office, though, called the accusations by Hillier, all of them, false.
“Everything Randy Hillier outlined in his letter is an outright lie. These fabrications are absurd and categorically false,” Ford spokesman Simon Jeffries said in a statement.
“This further shows Randy Hillier never wanted to be a true member of our PC team despite repeated attempts by Premier Ford to engage him as an important member of our caucus.”
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Responding to reporters questions, Finance Minister Vic Fideli also denied the allegations.
“His comments in his letter are absolutely and categorically false,” Fideli said when asked if Hillier was a liar.
Beyond allegations of illegal lobbying, a bombshell if true, Hillier paints a picture of a government tight on control of their MPPs.
That was never going to sit well with Hillier.
But it also isn’t sitting well with other MPPs.
Ford has a caucus management problem. His MPPs, the people we elected and sent to Queen’s Park are bristling at taking orders from unelected officials that don’t have to face the voters.
Hillier is a problem for Ford right now, but if he doesn’t get a handle on this soon, he will have major problems with many MPPs in the future.
http://torontosun.com/opinion/column...r-drops-a-bomb
 
Hoid
#4
OH my.

Canada's leading white natty is making a bit of a mess of it in Ontario.

His new partner in Alberta is about to have his election invalidated and the grand wizard in Ottawa continues to make gaff after gaff in the press.

Scheer/Ford/Kenney is running out of wind in the starting blocks.
 

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