Durham MPP removed from legislative role after misrepresenting vaccination status: province
Published Friday, October 1, 2021 8:35PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, October 1, 2021 9:27PM EDT
A Progressive Conservative MPP has been removed from her position after misrepresenting her COVID-19 vaccination status.
A statement from the Government House Leader released Friday evening announced that Lindsey Park, the MPP for Durham, will no longer serve as the parliamentary secretary for the attorney general.
PC MPPs were given a deadline in August to provide documentation that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit a statement signed by a physician medically exempting them from vaccination.
Those who fail to do so would be ejected from caucus.
At the time, 69 of the 71 PC MPPs, including Premier Doug Ford, had reportedly received their shots.
Despite facing expulsion, Chatham-Kent-Leamington MPP Rick Nicholls refused to get vaccinated for personal reasons. As a result, Ford booted him out of the PC caucus.
"It is my expectation that every PC caucus member and candidate not only support the role vaccines play in the fight against COVID-19, but also be vaccinated to protect themselves and the people in their community," Ford said.
Scarborough Centre MPP Christina Mitas was the other unvaccinated PC member but she remained in caucus after handing proof of medical exemption.
Like Mitas, Park will remain a PC caucus member. Ivana Yelich, the executive director of media relations for Ford's office, confirmed Friday that the Durham MPP has since provided proof of medical exemption.
"We subsequently verified the vaccination status of caucus members, and as such, our caucus is fully vaccinated with the exception of two members who have received medical exemptions," Yelich said in a statement.
According to the Ontario Ministry of Health, there are only two valid medical reasons to be exempted from getting vaccinated.
The first would be an allergic reaction to a component of the vaccine within an individual, which an allergist or immunologist must confirm.
The second would be if an individual suffered myocarditis or pericarditis after the first dose of a vaccine.
Park was elected into office in the 2018 provincial election and was appointed as parliamentary secretary to the attorney general shortly after.
- with files from Chris Herhalt and Hannah Alberga