TORONTO — The Ford government was in damage control mode Monday, denying allegations that an outspoken legislator was expelled from Progressive Conservative caucus for raising concerns about possible “illegal and unregistered” lobbying by the premier’s friends and advisers.
Randy Hillier, a veteran politician who represents the eastern Ontario riding of Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston, was ousted Friday after the party said he was unwilling to be a team player.
But in an open letter Monday, Hillier gave his version of events, claiming he was turfed after pushing back against party operatives who he alleged are silencing elected politicians.
“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,” Hillier said. “I could not stand by and tolerate operatives engaging in similar and more egregious acts.”
Hillier, who wasn’t at the legislature Monday, alleged he was condemned for a variety of activities including raising concerns of possible illegal and unregistered lobbying by close friends and advisers employed by Premier Doug Ford.
He also claimed he was punished for refusing to obtain permission to speak to the media and for failing to stand and applaud the government during legislative sessions.
He further alleged he was condemned for not seeking permission to attend his brother’s funeral.