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Tory MPPs ejected from legislature over HST protest Add to ...

Two members of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party have been ejected from the legislature for the duration of the session.

The Speaker took the extraordinary step of banishing Bill Murdoch and Randy Hillier on Monday, after both MPPs refused to comply with his order to leave the chamber.

The Tories are protesting the Liberal Government's legislation that would harmonize the province's retail sales tax with the federal goods and services tax.

But hearing on the legislation ground to a halt on Monday afternoon, amid a chaotic session with Tory members pounding on their desks and yelling, "call public hearings."

In what was clearly an orchestrated protest by the Tories, the session began with Mr. Murdoch rising in his seat and saying, "Where I come from, [Premier]Dalton McGuinty is a liar."

The comment was virtually guaranteed to get him tossed from the chamber. Mr. Murdoch was asked three times to withdraw the remark and refused. When he was asked to leave, his caucus colleagues formed a human wall around him, leaving him well out of reach of the Sargeant At Arms.

Mr. Murdoch remained in his seat and kept yelling.

After a 15-minute recess, Mr. Hillier jumped into the fray and got ejected for the duration of the session for refusing to stop banging the lid on his desk. But Mr. Hillier's involvement in the protest appeared unscripted - he refused to comply with the pleas of his own caucus, including leader Tim Hudak, to follow the Speaker's order and leave the chamber.

During one of many recesses, Tory house leader Bob Runciman described Mr. Hillier as "a free spirit."

Mr. Murdoch and Mr. Hillier have been banished from the chamber until the government prorogues parliament. A date has not yet been set.

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