Hiller says suspension from Tory caucus was over clashes with Ford advisers

TORONTO – 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 claims he wasn't suspended for comments he made in the legislature, as Premier Doug Ford has said, but due to long-standing tensions with two of Ford's senior advisers over what's expected of caucus members.

Hillier, a veteran Tory 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.

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.

Ford has said 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 Hillier said “yada yada yada” to them near the end of question period, but Hillier maintains the remarks were directed at the Opposition New Democrats.