Randy Hillier, the MPP for Lanark–Frontenac–Kingston, has been expelled from the Ontario PC Party’s caucus.
Hillier was originally suspended from caucus for allegedly saying “yada, yada, yada” to a parent of a child with autism after a tense question period on Feb. 20.
A caucus meeting on March 5 ended with no decision being made on Hillier’s future, other than that he would remain suspended.
But on Friday, the Progressive Conservatives’ caucus chair Daryl Kramp told Hillier in a letter that he had been permanently expelled.
The letter said that Premier Doug Ford was disappointed Hillier “continued to escalate the situation in public” and showed “an ongoing unwillingness on your part to be a team player and to work constructively on finding a solution.”
Hillier has maintained his Feb. 20 remarks were directed at the opposition New Democrats, not a parent.
He has also claimed he was not suspended for any comments he made at Queen’s Park, but rather because of tensions with two of Ford’s senior advisors.
PC concerns include attendance, media comments
A March 10 letter from Ontario PC Party president Brian Patterson to Mark MacDonald, president of the Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston constituency association, outlined multiple concerns the party had with Hillier before today’s expulsion.
The concerns include:
- Hillier having the lowest meeting attendance of anyone in caucus.
- Not attending the Ontario PC convention or caucus retreat.
- Being absent when the legislature was recalled over the Christmas break to vote on back-to-work legislation.
- Speaking to the media to express his dissatisfaction with the government.
- Not attending question period “warm-up meetings.”
- Allowing a Liberal independent member to ask a question in his absence during question period.
Despite these concerns, Hillier also had “more one-on-one meetings with the Premier and members of the Premier’s staff than any other member of caucus” to discuss important matters, the letter says.
It closes by saying that Hillier could only return to caucus if he accepted responsibility for his past behaviour while making a “drastic change in his conduct going forward.”