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Toronto MPP says he was suspended for not sharing Ford government tweets and clapping enough in legislature

Ontario Progressive Conservative MPP Randy Hillier, seen after the Throne Speech in Toronto in March, 2018, told supporters he was not removed from the Tory caucus for the reasons Premier Doug Ford has cited publicly.

Chris Young/The Canadian Press

A provincial politician who was suspended indefinitely from the Progressive Conservative caucus last month says he was removed for clashing with some of the Premier’s most senior advisers.

In a letter to party members in his Eastern Ontario riding, Randy Hillier says he wasn’t suspended for comments he made in the legislature, as Premier Doug Ford has said, but because of long-standing tensions with two of Mr. Ford’s senior advisers over what’s expected of caucus members.

Mr. Hillier, a veteran legislator known for being outspoken, says he challenged the justification for his suspension and was given a list of what he called “questionable and childish grievances” by backroom operatives.

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Ford suspends MPP Randy Hillier from caucus over ‘disrespectful comments’ to parents of autistic children

Among them, he alleges, were complaints that he didn’t clap enough in the House and wasn’t actively sharing posts about the government’s activities on social media.

The Premier has said Mr. Hillier was suspended for comments he made as parents of children with autism packed the legislature’s galleries in protest of the government’s recent funding changes.

Some of the parents said that Mr. Hillier said “yada yada yada” to them near the end of Question Period, but Mr. Hillier maintains the remarks were directed at the New Democrats.

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