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Ontario New Democrat MPP Sarah Jama, pictured in Hamilton, Ont., on March 13, 2018, has been the source of controversy for the NDP after she posted a statement two weeks ago about the conflict in the Middle East. She was removed from the NDP caucus on Monday.Peter Power

An Ontario New Democrat MPP who voiced support for Palestinians has been kicked out of the provincial party’s caucus and Progressive Conservatives voted to censure her in the legislature for comments she made about the Israel-Hamas war.

NDP Leader Marit Stiles announced Monday that Sarah Jama was removed from caucus because she has “broken the trust of her colleagues,” less than an hour before government MPPs passed a motion that will prevent Ms. Jama from speaking in the legislature.

Ms. Jama, who was elected last March to the riding of Hamilton Centre, has been the source of controversy for the NDP after she posted a statement two weeks ago about the conflict in the Middle East. The post focused on the plight of Palestinians and human-rights violations in Gaza but did not speak about Israeli lives lost or condemn Hamas for its atrocities against Jewish people.

Ms. Stiles initially demanded that Ms. Jama remove the post, but the rookie MPP did not do so. Instead, Ms. Jama issued an apology to Jewish and Israeli people, condemned Hamas, and called for a release of all hostages and an end to the siege in Gaza. Ms. Jama’s original post, which she has since moved to the top of her social media, remains online. It was the second time Ms. Jama apologized to the Jewish community since March.

Ms. Jama’s post drew the ire of opposition parties and Jewish groups. On Monday, Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives passed a motion that prevents the Speaker from recognizing Ms. Jama in the legislature until she deletes her statement and apologizes in the House.

The NDP voted against the motion, calling it extreme and undemocratic, and the Liberals abstained, with interim Liberal leader John Fraser saying the debate has become too divisive.

But shortly before the motion passed, Ms. Stiles announced that Ms. Jama had been removed from caucus, saying some of the MPP’s actions “have contributed to unsafe work environments for staff.”

Ms. Stiles later told reporters that a number of MPP and constituency offices have received threats in the wake of Ms. Jama’s statements. Ms. Jama also said on social media last week that her office has received “concerning calls and e-mails.”

The NDP was also caught unaware last week when Ms. Jama threatened legal action against Mr. Ford, and attempted to serve him legal papers at Queen’s Park, alleging Mr. Ford made “reckless and malicious” comments about her when he responded to her post on social media.

Ms. Stiles said Monday she had tried to work with Ms. Jama to ensure the MPP’s voice was heard.

“Ms. Jama and I had reached an agreement to keep her in the NDP caucus, which included working together in good faith with no surprises. Our caucus and staff have made significant efforts to support her during an undoubtedly difficult time,” Ms. Stiles said in a statement.

“Since then, she has undertaken a number of unilateral actions that have undermined our collective work and broken the trust of her colleagues.”

Speaking in the legislature Monday prior to the vote to censure her, Ms. Jama said the Ford government is targeting her to distract from its scandals and she repeated her call for an immediate ceasefire by Israeli forces and the restoration of food, water, fuel and electricity to Gaza.

“I ground my words in the realities of the Israeli apartheid and Israel’s ongoing domination and occupation of Palestinian lands,” she said.

“To every person who’s taking the risk to speak up for Palestinian dignity and safety: I see you and I hear you and I’m with you. They try hard to silence us, but we know that our words are powerful, and we must continue to speak up no matter the cost.”

Ms. Stiles said she was not aware of what Ms. Jama would say in the legislature. Ms. Jama did not speak with reporters Monday and her office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Last Thursday, Ms. Jama sent Mr. Ford a “cease and desist” letter demanding he retract his Oct. 11 statement about her and publish an “unequivocal apology” within seven days.

Mr. Ford’s lawyers responded in a letter Monday, denying the Premier defamed Ms. Jama and calling her demand a “regrettable attempt” to curtail his freedom of speech and expression.

“As Premier, our client has not only a right but an obligation to condemn antisemitism and terrorism and the public has a corresponding right and entitlement to hear him doing so,” says the letter from Mr. Ford’s lawyer, Gavin Tighe.

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