MPP Paul Miller, ejected from the NDP caucus for undisclosed reasons, says he is a victim of “cancel culture” and will run as an Independent in the June 2 election to clear his name.
In his first appearance at Queen’s Park since NDP Leader Andrea Horwath removed him last Thursday, Miller, 71, said he was turfed for an “offensive” social media post he didn’t write.
“I can’t divulge (it) at this point because it was outrageous, ridiculous,” he said Wednesday of the Facebook post he declined to share with reporters because he is in litigation against the New Democrats.
The 15-year veteran Hamilton East-Stoney Creek MPP suggested the NDP “did that to scare me off, so I quit,” due to his long-running differences with Horwath.
“I have never posted anything on Twitter or Facebook. Frankly, I’m not that great at the internet. My staff always did it,” said Miller, adding he doesn’t even know the passwords for his social media accounts.
“So if there’s anything on there, it would have been former staff who I had difficulties with before, someone who got let go and fired,” he said, refusing to name names.
Horwath, who has not revealed why Miller was defenestrated, ducked reporters after the morning question period at Queen’s Park as she was in “a meeting.”
Her office said the party was conferring with its lawyer.
On Monday, Horwath would only say that these are decisions that are very difficult.”
“As New Democrats, we want to make sure that we reflect the values of Ontarians. Unfortunately, that’s all I can say today,” the NDP leader said.
That has prompted the Progressive Conservatives and Liberals to accuse her of having a “double standard” when it comes to transparency in her party.
Government house leader Paul Calandra pointed out the Tories “have been very transparent when the members of our caucus have been asked to leave.”
“I’ve been up at the microphone and I’ve explained exactly what the circumstances were,” Calandra said Monday, noting his party has kicked out five MPPs for various reasons over the past four years.
“Given the serious nature of the allegations that Ms. Horwath is saying accompanies this … it’s in the best interest — not only the legislature but also for Mr. Miller — to really get this out there,” he said.
Liberal house leader John Fraser said Horwath “tried to apply the transparency rule to every government member or other member that got in trouble … since I’ve been elected,” said Fraser.
“It’s a double standard. It’s like, ‘We can go after the government, but you know what, we don’t need that kind of scrutiny because I just can’t tell you why.’”
Miller brandished the re-election signs he will use in the upcoming campaign, noting they are “burnt orange” as opposed to the traditional NDP orange he has used since 2007.