Premier Ford removes Tory legislator from government caucus over emergency powers vote
TORONTO -- Ontario Premier Doug Ford has removed a Cambridge, Ont., legislator from the Progressive Conservative caucus for voting against a controversial government bill.
Ford issued a statement today saying Belinda Karahalios will no longer sit as a member of the Progressive Conservative caucus.
Karahalios voted against a government bill that grants it powers to extend or amend some emergency orders a month at a time, for up to two years.
She called the bill an "unnecessary overreach" on parliamentary democracy shortly after the vote.
Karahalios was first elected in 2018 and had served as parliamentary assistant to Solicitor General Sylvia Jones.
She could not immediately be reached for comment.
Ford defended the bill as an important piece of legislation that protects people during the pandemic.
"Our government's first priority is the health and safety of all Ontarians, and Bill 195 is an important piece of legislation that protects each and every citizen during the pandemic," he said in a statement.
In a statement earlier Tuesday afternoon, Karahalios said the bill takes away the voice of all legislators.
"By transferring away the ability for Ontario MPPs to consider, debate, and vote on how emergency powers are used on Ontarians, Bill 195 essentially silences every single Ontario MPP on the most important issue facing our legislature today," she said.
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