Fedeli says expelled MPP harming grieving families with 'fabricated claims' on vaccines

Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli has denounced a former colleague for traumatizing a local family by "fabricating claims" a family member died because of the COVID-19 vaccine.

As reported by CTV News, Randy Hillier, who represents the eastern Ontario riding of Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston, has frequently posted COVID-19 misinformation and conspiracy theories throughout the pandemic.

Recently he posted several photos of people who had died, suggesting without evidence that they had died due to COVID-19 vaccination.

Fedeli said Hillier is causing pain to families to "advance his own agenda."

“Many in the community of Nipissing have expressed concern about Mr. Hillier using a local death to advance his anti-vaccine agenda," Fedeli said in a statement released by his office.

“Let me be clear, there is no place in Ontario for an elected official to fabricate claims about someone who has passed away to advance their own agenda … Not only are Mr. Hillier’s actions deceitful and disgusting, they are also deeply hurtful to the families who have lost loved ones."

On Thursday, Ontario's legislature unanimously called on Hillier to apologize for "a string of disreputable conduct" in the context of COVID-19. Hillier, who was kicked out of the Progressive Conservative caucus before the pandemic, has called on police to investigate the deaths.

Family members of some of those people told various media outlets that they were angered by the post, and denied Hillier's allegations.

“Unfortunately, Mr. Hillier has forgotten the real impact his lies have on those who are already grieving the loss of a family member," Fedeli said.

"Families should not have to deal with the additional burden of Mr. Hillier’s actions. He should respect the families, offer a full apology, and remove the posts in question.

“Getting vaccinated remains the best way to protect ourselves and our loved ones from COVID-19 and the Delta variant. Our government will continue to support families and communities as we continue our last mile push to increase vaccination rates and keep Ontario safe.”

The motion passed in the Ontario legislature condemns Hillier’s behaviour and calls upon him to "apologize and desist from further similar conduct."

"Mr. Hillier’s decision to use the photograph and name of a deceased woman on social media, falsely claiming that her death was caused by the COVID-19 vaccine and his further refusal to remove this content continues to be extremely hurtful to the affected family and is unacceptable from any person let alone an elected Member of Provincial Parliament," the statement from the legislature said.