MPP removed from NDP caucus over 'values' issue, Horwath says

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MPP removed from NDP caucus over 'values' issue, Horwath says
Author of the article:Antonella Artuso
Publishing date:Mar 21, 2022 • 10 hours ago • 2 minute read • 5 Comments
NDP MPP Paul Miller (right) is supported by PC MPP Bob Bailey as he introduces a bill at Queen's Park on Wednesday, Nov. 22 2018 that would create a Social Assistance Research Commission.
NDP MPP Paul Miller (right) is supported by PC MPP Bob Bailey as he introduces a bill at Queen's Park on Wednesday, Nov. 22 2018 that would create a Social Assistance Research Commission. PHOTO BY ANTONELLA ARTUSO /TORONTO SUN
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NDP Leader Andrea Horwath decided to remove MPP Paul Miller from caucus because the party needs to reflect the “values” of Ontarians.

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Horwath told reporters Monday that she could not provide any more information on her reasons for booting the Hamilton East-Stoney Creek representative.

“It’s something that’s not an easy decision to make but leaders sometimes have to make these difficult decisions,” she said.

Last week, Horwath issued a statement that said the party had concluded its vetting process for Miller and “determined he will not be permitted to run as a candidate for the Ontario NDP in the 2022 election. I’ve been informed of the new information uncovered during that vetting process, and find it to be clearly unacceptable. Therefore I have removed Mr. Miller from the Ontario NDP caucus.”

Miller told several media outlets that the evidence against him was fabricated but could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.

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The MPP’s Facebook page posted a video in February of Horwath with the tagline, “Great memories from the 2018 nomination meeting.”

Miller was the focus of media attention in 2018 when a recorded voicemail message he left on a staff member’s phone two years earlier surfaced as part of an Ontario human rights complaint.

In the message, Miller could be heard criticizing the worker’s union and his decision to take paternity leave.

Miller told the Toronto Sun at the time that he was expressing dissatisfaction with the worker’s performance.

The NDP has suggested that the reasons for his removal are linked to fairly recent matters.

PC Government House Leader Paul Calandra said it’s in the best interests of Horwath and Miller to provide more public transparency on the allegations.

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“Obviously the NDP are having a challenging time,” Calandra said. “They’ve had one candidate removed because of a questionable past with respect to supporting Nazi sympathizers and now they’re having a long-standing member removed because of what we are told are just horrific acts of discrimination.”

If the alleged actions warrant a further response from the Ontario Legislature, then Horwath should make clear what her objections to his candidacy are, he said.

Miller also deserves to be vindicated if the allegations are not accurate or deserving of his removal from caucus, he said.

aartuso@postmedia.com
 
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Former NDP MPP Paul Miller will run as independent with 'burnt orange' sign
'It's no secret to all you in the press that I've had my difficulties with Andrea over the years'

Author of the article:Antonella Artuso
Publishing date:Mar 23, 2022 • 12 hours ago • 2 minute read • 10 Comments
Former NDP MPP Paul Miller is running as an Independent for the Hamilton East-Stoney Creek riding in June's provincial election.
Former NDP MPP Paul Miller is running as an Independent for the Hamilton East-Stoney Creek riding in June's provincial election. PHOTO BY ANTONELLA ARTUSO /Toronto Sun
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An Ontario MPP who was turfed from the NDP says he disagreed with Leader Andrea Horwath over where the party was headed.

MPP Paul Miller, waving a “burnt orange” election sign, said he intends to run as an Independent in Hamilton East-Stoney Creek in the June 2 general election.

“It’s no secret to all you in the press that I’ve had my difficulties with Andrea over the years — I don’t actually get a Christmas card actually — we’ve had our differences about policy, direction the party’s going in,” Miller said. “And unfortunately in our society now with this cancel culture stuff, if you don’t agree with somebody … they find a way to fabricate things.”

Ontario NDP Provincial Director Lucy Watson alleged in a statement that Miller was disqualified from running because his behavior crossed a “reasonable line,” one that applies to all their candidates.

“After a pattern of troubling behavior that indicated that Paul Miller may harbour Islamophobic, homophobic and racist views, our party’s vetting process showed that Mr. Miller was a member of the Facebook group called Worldwide Coalition Against Islam,” Watson claims in a statement.

While Miller could not be reached to respond directly to this allegation, he told reporters earlier in the day that party officials had showed him a single Facebook post to his political account that might be deemed offensive.

Miller did not provide any details on the message other than it was not criminal or sexual in nature, and in any case he said it was not posted by him.

“In all the years I’ve been in politics, I have never posted anything on Twitter or Facebook,” Miller said Wednesday. “My staff always did it so if there’s anything on there it would have been former staff who I had difficulties with before — somebody got let go and fired — and present staff would have access and the NDP would have access through the vetting process.”

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Asked if he believed his candidacy was sabotaged, Miller said, “I would say that … there’s been visitors on my site that I didn’t know about.”

Horwath said earlier this week that the four-term MPP would not be allowed to run as an MPP in June’s general election because of a “values” issue.

Both sides in the dispute said they have brought in lawyers to deal with it.

Miller said the party has a new agenda and a new type of favoured candidate.

“I don’t think I fit that mold,” the former steelworker said. “This party’s moving in a direction that I’m not familiar with … The party is moving in the wrong direction in my opinion and I think that it’ll show in the ballot box.”

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Ontario MPP denies NDP claim he joined anti-Islam group
Author of the article:Antonella Artuso
Publishing date:Mar 24, 2022 • 13 hours ago • 2 minute read • Join the conversation
MPP Paul Miller rejects NDP claims
MPP Paul Miller rejects NDP claims PHOTO BY ANTONELLA ARTUSO/TORONTO SUN
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Ontario MPP Paul Miller flatly denies joining an anti-Islam Facebook group, which was the main reason the NDP gave for giving him the boot just months before a general election.

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Miller, who plans to run as an independent in Hamilton East-Stoney Creek, said the senior leaders of his riding association are Pakistani Muslims and he has a great rapport with minority communities.

“So if they had any indication over the last 20 years that there was a problem I think they would have caught on to that,” Miller said Thursday. “My opinion? I am not racist in any way, shape or form.”

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath claims Miller was removed from caucus and told he could not run for the party in the next election due to a history of problematic behavior, culminating in his membership in the Facebook group called Worldwide Coalition Against Islam.

“It’s definitely the case that this decision was not an easy one,” Horwath said. “I think that any leader of a political party would have to look at the pattern of behavior that we’ve seen from Mr. Miller … We know it wasn’t just one incident.”

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The NDP have referred to a complaint of offensive language filed by a former Miller employee that was resolved, and also an incident with Miller’s trustee wife at the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board.

Miller said he accidently walked into his kitchen when his wife was part of an in camera school board meeting being held on Zoom during the pandemic.

The MPP said he does not handle his political Twitter and Facebook accounts, but several people had access including former and current NDP staff.

Miller said he wants an apology but would never run for the NDP again due to his treatment.

The former steelworker said he disagreed repeatedly with Horwath over policy questions, including the decision to support back-to-work legislation which he believed abandoned the party’s labour roots.

Miller joins a relatively large group of MPPs who have been removed from their political parties, including PC MPPs who disagreed with the government’s pandemic measures and vaccine mandate.

“This cancel culture is very serious in the States and here,” Miller said. “We’re all here to represent the people of Ontario. We all have our views. We discuss it, we debate it, but we don’t get personal and we don’t attack people because they won’t do what they’re told.”

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'Multiple unauthorized' logins to social media accounts, former NDP MPP says
Author of the article:Antonella Artuso
Publishing date:Apr 27, 2022 • 16 hours ago • 2 minute read • Join the conversation

An Ontario MPP pushed out of the NDP caucus on a “ridiculous” allegation that he joined an online anti-Islam group says he’s uncovered evidence of repeated unauthorized use of his social media accounts.


MPP Paul Miller, who has filed nomination papers to run as an independent in Hamilton-Stoney Creek, said he is considering legal action after the NDP and Leader Andrea Horwath hurt his ability to do his job, earn a living and represent his constituents.

“I think it’s certainly worthy of a legal challenge, for sure, and that’s where we’re going with this,” Miller said Wednesday. “Certainly, you don’t want your name dragged through the mud for reasons that aren’t true.”

The four-time MPP said he hired technical experts who proved that he has never personally logged onto any social media platform and that at least a dozen staff members had access to his professional accounts.

Horwath and the NDP presented him with one line from Facebook saying “Paul, you stopped being a member of WCAI (Worldwide Coalition Against Islam)” in 2018 and used that as justification to toss him from the party eight weeks before an election, he said.


“We have conclusive evidence that there have been multiple unauthorized logins to our account from multiple devices in multiple cities,” Miller said. “We are pursuing multiple legal actions against Andrea Horwath and the NDP, including wrongful dismissal, constructive dismissal, defamation and multiple human rights violations.”

Miller said he never joined the group and doesn’t share its views.

The MPP, a former steelworker, suggested Horwath and the NDP are moving away from the party’s traditional base.

“This is no longer the party of labour,” he said.

An NDP spokesperson said the party’s previous statement in response to Miller’s accusations stands.

Ontario NDP Provincial Director Lucy Watson said in an earlier statement that Miller was disqualified from running because his behaviour crossed a “reasonable line,” one that applies to all their candidates.

“After a pattern of troubling behaviour that indicated that Paul Miller may harbour Islamophobic, homophobic and racist views, our party’s vetting process showed that Mr. Miller was a member of the Facebook group called Worldwide Coalition Against Islam,” Watson said in a statement.

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MPP Paul Miller launches $1.3-M lawsuit against Ontario NDP, Horwath
Author of the article:Antonella Artuso
Publishing date:May 10, 2022 • 15 hours ago • 2 minute read • Join the conversation
MPP Paul Miller rejects NDP claims
MPP Paul Miller rejects NDP claims PHOTO BY ANTONELLA ARTUSO/TORONTO SUN
Ontario MPP Paul Miller has filed a $1.3-million breach of contract claim against the NDP, Leader Andrea Horwath and two party officials.


The statement of claim, filed in a Hamilton court, alleges the Ontario NDP, Horwath and officials Lucy Watson and Michael Balagus, conspired to remove Miller from the caucus by knowingly using a false allegation that he joined a racist online group.

“The real reason… is Paul’s age and his marital status contrary to and in violation of the (Ontario Human Rights) Code,” the statement of claim says. “Paul is 71 years of age and in February 2021, Michael asked Paul if he was running in the riding again. Paul responded to Michael and confirmed that he was. Michael told Paul that running in the riding was not a good idea at his age and that the NDP was not going to support him.”

The statement, which is dated May 6, also says that Miller was told his wife’s involvement in the local school board was another reason not to run again.


In an interview, Miller would not discuss the court case, but said his campaign for re-election as an independent was going well.

“I’m getting all kinds of sign locations and support and people are not buying what was said and done,” Miller contended.

Watson, the provincial director for the Ontario NDP, responded in a statement that, “We’re confident that the party and our leader did the right thing, and that Mr. Miller’s claim will go nowhere.”

The statement of claim has not been proven in court.

Miller was removed from the NDP caucus on March 17 with the party claiming he’d joined an anti-Islam group on Facebook.

The statement of claim says Miller provided evidence to the NDP that he never joined the group and the many logins to his Facebook account were not authorized by him.


The MPP added he did not hold anti-racist views, and noted his social media accounts were handled by current and former staff.

“The actions taken by the defendants were high-handed, malicious and are worthy of censure. (They) acted callously, maliciously, furtively and avariciously with the intent to deceive Paul … with a total lack of regard for Paul’s rights and the right of constituents to be fully informed and free of a campaign of misinformation to exercise their democratic rights to elect a candidate of their choice in the riding,” the statement says.

Miller is seeking $1 million in damages for breach of contract, breach of duty of good faith and conspiracy, $50,000 as compensation for breaches of the Ontario Human Right Code and punitive damages of $250,000.

aartuso@postmedia.com