Two Ontario MPPs are asking the Ontario legislature’s integrity commissioner to investigate recent social media posts published by independent MPP Randy Hillier.
Peggy Sattler, MPP for London West and official opposition house leader, along with Catherine Fife, MPP for Waterloo, submitted a letter to the commissioner Friday, deriding the Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston MPP, who recently posted several deceased people’s names and faces to social media falsely claiming they died from the COVID-19 vaccine.
Neither Fife nor Sattler would be interviewed for this story. Instead, they pointed to their letter in response to the request.
“Mr. Hillier has shown contempt for his role as an elected member, and disrespected these grieving families and their loved ones,” the letter states.
Both MPPs called Hillier’s social media posts an “egregious and reprehensible breach of Ontario parliamentary convention.”
Last week, Global News spoke with friends and family members of those shown in Hillier’s posts who vehemently denied their loved ones died from vaccine complications. They told Global News they were outraged to see their friends and family’s faces being used for anti-vaccine messaging without their knowledge or consent.
When faced with these criticisms last week, Hillier sent out a statement doubling down on his convictions, calling on the OPP to investigate the deaths of those he named in his posts.
In their letter, Sattler and Fife say Hillier contravened the Members’ Integrity Act and Ontario parliamentary convention by sharing these people’s information.
“As members of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, it is our job to respect, protect and advocate for our communities, not to use Ontarians’ personal information without their consent to push forward a dangerous, anti-science agenda,” the letter reads.
The two NDP MPPs asked the integrity to hold the rural Ontario politician “to account.”
This is not the first case the integrity commissioner will hear about Hillier allegedly sharing constituent information. In fact, this will be the second integrity commissioner complaint filed against Hillier in just over a month.
Hillier’s neighbouring counterpart, Kingston and the Islands MPP Ian Arthur, filed his own complaint after Hillier allegedly signed up at least two of his constituents for his No More Lockdown group and PPC mailing lists, using information they say he got while helping them with other matters, such as filing for birth certificates.
Arthur is not involved in the latest complaint, but spoke to Global News on Friday, saying one of the family members of a person shown in Hillier’s post reached out to Arthur last week.
“They said, ‘I just want to grieve in peace,'” he said.
“They lost a loved one, and to have, without any form of consent or even being informed that it was happening at all, been thrust in the public light like that, and to have it displayed prominently for a period of time — you can’t do that,” he said.
As for the integrity commissioner complaint, Arthur says the process has several steps, including notifying the Speaker of the House.
He added that only an MPP can file a complaint on behalf of a constituent, and that person must consent to be part of what will eventually become a public process if the matter is taken up by the commissioner’s office.
The office says it has received the letter from the two MPPs and has responded with next steps.
Arthur’s complaint is currently under review.
Hillier has yet to respond to a request for comment.
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