Friday, January 15, 2021

PCs expel Ontario MPP for criticizing lockdowns

Ontario MPP kicked out of Ford’s caucus after letter claims ‘lockdowns are deadlier than COVID’ | Global News - Gabby Rodriguez:

January 15, 2021 - "The Ontario government has kicked out one of its own members after an MPP wrote a letter to Doug Ford calling for the end to the lockdown measures implemented due to a surge in coronavirus cases, deaths and hospitalizations. 'The lockdowns are deadlier than COVID,' wrote Roman Baber, MPP for Toronto’s York-Centre riding, as the title of his letter to the premier posted on social media Friday morning. Baber had been elected as a Progressive Conservative MPP in the 2018 provincial election.

"'I wrote a respectful letter to Premier Ford, asking to end the Lockdown. Look at the data — the virus is real but the crisis is mostly in LTC (long-term care),' Baber said in his tweet. 'Let’s focus on LTC & hospital capacity, but ending the Lockdown is best for our health.' Baber attached a copy of the letter to his tweet and to his Facebook page. In the letter, he writes that 'the medicine is killing the patient' and 'Ontario’s hospital and ICU capacity are better than in the last three years.'

"'Effective immediately, Mr. Baber will no longer be sitting as a member of the PC Caucus and will not be permitted to seek re-election as a PC member,' said Ford in a statement, in response to Baber’s letter.... Ford said Baber’s comments are 'irresponsible' and by 'spreading misinformation he is undermining the tireless efforts of our frontline health care workers at this critical time, and he is putting people at risk. I will not jeopardize a single Ontarian’s life by ignoring public health advice.'

"In the letter, Baber said, 'the lockdown isn’t working,'  and says “it’s causing an avalanche of suicides, overdoses, bankruptcies, divorces and takes an immense toll on our children.' The letter goes against all of Ford’s policies on dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and lists figures from a list of other diseases and illnesses such as cancer, overdose rates and mental health.

"'Covid is real, but the fear of Covid is exaggerated. While every death is tragic, after 10 months we learned that Covid is not nearly as deadly as first thought – it has a 99.98% infection survival rate,' said Baber in the letter....

"Baber responded shortly after Ford’s statement to being removed from the PC Party caucus and said: 'It’s a regretful decision since many colleagues agree with me … I don’t regret speaking out for millions of lives and livelihoods decimated by Public Health.'

"The Ontario government implemented a second state of emergency on Tuesday and a stay-at-home order came into effect on Thursday, previously the entire province had been put under lockdown on Boxing Day with some hotspot regions in lockdown since the end of November.

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