Wed. Dec 1st, 2021

The Durham MPP, who was demoted after Prime Minister Doug Ford’s government concluded she “had a misrepresentation of her vaccination status”, has withdrawn from the progressive Conservative meeting.

Lindsey Park, which says the Tories issued a “false statement” about her decision not to take her COVID-19 shot, stopped Friday afternoon.

Park clashed with government House Speaker Paul Calandra, who fired her as parliamentary assistant to Attorney General Doug Downey on Oct. 1. Her downgrade meant an annual pay cut of $ 16,600.

“Ms. Park was removed as a parliamentary assistant because she misrepresented her vaccination status, not because of her medical exemption,” Calandra repeated Friday.

The landlord said Park “hand-delivered” a letter “in an unmarked envelope on an unmanned desk in the premiere office and was left undetected for nearly a month,” claiming Park had an exemption from being vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Almost a month later, Mrs Park contacted the Prime Minister’s office to find out if the letter had been received. The staff searched for the letter and found it on the unmanned desk, ”he said.

“So far no one has … seen Mrs. Park’s medical exception. Last week it was the first mistake he has seen only the letter from Mrs Park and not her medical exception. ”

The Durham MPP insisted she was “shocked and appalled” at any suggestion that she was misleading the Prime Minister.

“Given the breach of trust that has occurred, I have decided that it is not possible to continue as a progressive conservative member of the legislature, and I withdraw from the progressive conservative meeting immediately,” said Park, who did not planning to seek re-election.

She said she told the prime minister’s office on August 10 that she “should get the vaccine.”

However, after a meeting with her doctor, she was advised that she “should not take any COVID-19 vaccines because of my personal medical history and gave a written exception.

“My doctor gave me a medical dispensation because of a severe allergic reaction in my past to a flu vaccine,” Park said, adding “I also have a family history story where one of my grandparents developed Guillain-Barré syndrome after a flu vaccine. “

The MPP said her doctor, whom she did not identify, “has since taken steps to refer me to an allergy sufferer” and she is awaiting an appointment.

Both Park and Conservative MPP Christina Mitas (Scarborough-Center) received “medical exemptions” from being vaccinated against COVID-19 after Ford insisted all Tory MPPs and candidates for the June 2 provincial election should have their shots fired.

This is in contrast to veteran MPP Rick Nicholls (Chatham-Kent-Leamington) who was thrown out of PC meeting for refusing to be vaccinated.

Nicholls, who now sits as an independent, told Star that he was conferring with his doctor on a medical exception, but the doctor said there was no reason why he should not have his shots.

Mitas is now the only unvaccinated MPP in the PC assembly. There are 69 Tories in the 124-member legislature. All NDP, Liberal and Green MPPs are vaccinated, but several independent members are not.

Health officials suggest that only one in 20,000 to every 100,000 people would qualify for “legitimate” exemptions from the vaccination requirement because of the risk of severe allergic reactions and inflammation in or around the heart.

Opposition parties have demanded to know why Ford had allowed Park to stay on his team.

Liberal leader John Fraser has accused Park “was not straightforward. She was not transparent. She misrepresented, deceived, lied. ”

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, which regulates physicians and imposes discipline for non-compliance with professional standards, has banned three physicians from issuing medical exemptions from COVID-19 vaccinations.

Rob Ferguson is a Toronto-based journalist covering Ontario policy for Star. Follow him on Twitter: @ robferguson1Robert Benzie is the star’s Queen’s Park bureau chief and a reporter covering Ontario politics. Follow him on Twitter: @robertbenzie

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