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Ontario PC MPP Rick Nicholls holds a news conference at the Queens Park Legislature, in Toronto on Aug. 19.Chris Young/The Canadian Press

A former Tory who was removed from Ontario’s governing caucus for refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19 is out as deputy speaker at the legislature.

The government was to move Tuesday morning to nominate another elected member to the role.

Chatham-Kent-Leamington representative Rick Nicholls, who now sits as an independent in the legislature, said he would resign from the position.

Nicholls says he will stay on as an independent but won’t run for re-election next June.

Nicholls was removed as a Progressive Conservative in August after he failed to show proof of vaccination or a medical exemption, as Premier Doug Ford had asked all caucus members to do.

Opposition politicians have since raised questions over the fact that two Progressive Conservatives have reported medical exemptions to COVID-19 vaccinations, which experts say are statistically rare events.

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