Independent MPP Randy Hillier is facing fresh criticism for appearing to ignore COVID-19 public health guidelines and hosting a holiday gathering — then bragging about it on social media.
It’s not the first time Hillier has spoken out against lockdown guidelines, but the politician representing Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington has taken it to a more brazen level. On Dec. 27, Hillier posted a photo of himself, along with 13 other adults and one child sitting around a dining table for what appears to be a Christmas dinner.
“The lies and deceptions of covid are over. How & why so many allowed themselves to be deceived will take years to to uncover, but I and many other Canadians will not accept the deception any longer. We are free and will defend our freedom,” wrote Hillier in a subsequent tweet.
— Randy Hillier (@randyhillier) December 28, 2020
Hillier, who is seen in the photo seated at the head of the table wearing a red and black checked shirt, posted the photo as a clear rebuke of the current provincial lockdown orders which restrict gatherings and does not allow for “indoor organized public events and social gatherings.” At locations where physical distancing can be maintained, the province has permitted 10 people to gather, but that does not appear to be the case in the photo Hiller shared. A violation of the provincial lockdown orders could see each person be fined upwards of $750.
“Indoor organized public events and social gatherings are not permitted except with members of the same household,” according to the Ontario government’s rules on their website.
When Yahoo Canada inquired if the Premier would be penalizing Hillier, Doug Ford’s office said they had no comment on the situation. On social media, there is clear disdain for how Hillier is carrying himself and the falsehoods he’s spreading around the COVID-19 pandemic.
Well, well, well: Appears that Ontario MPP @randyhillier MAY have pulled a @samoosterhoff and gathered over the Christmas holidays.
Hope “Premier Dad” looks in to WHEN this photo was taken and acts appropriately. This looks like $750 x 15... pic.twitter.com/b6n6Uv1QrN
— Ryan Imgrund (@imgrund) December 28, 2020
This is beyond disgraceful. We have to demand better from elected officials. We have all suffered and sacrificed too much for people like Randy Hillier to spit in our faces. We deserve better than Randy Hillier. Absolutely embarrassing. https://t.co/GhzGcXx1eO
— Brian Fraser (@brianpfraser) December 28, 2020
— Suburban Voyeur™️ (@subvoyeur) December 28, 2020
While some Ontarians are asking for a hefty fine, others think that Hillier should be removed from his post as a public official.
— CA Ann (@caanncp) December 28, 2020
It’s not the first time Hillier has acted in opposition to public health guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week a group of physicians sent Hillier a letter urging him to stop spreading falsehoods around the pandemic.
“You misuse scientific references to give your stance an appearance of being scientific. I urge the public to ignore you and heed the advice of trained health care professionals,” wrote Dr. Jeanette Dietrich.
Hillier did not immediately respond to Yahoo Canada’s request for a comment.