Doug Ford Removes MPP Baber from PC Caucus for Opposing Lockdowns

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on January 15, 2021

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has removed MPP Roman Baber from the Progressive Conservative party caucus for opposing his new round of strict lockdowns that have effectively shut down all restaurants and all “non-essential” businesses. 

Baber put out a letter directed at Premier Ford just this morning stating that “the medicine is killing the patient,” in reference to the negative effects that lockdowns have had on people’s mental health, the rise in suicides, and the deep slump it has put the Ontario economy into.

Baber also points out that that “hot zones” in Toronto and the Peel region of Ontario have been under lockdown since Canadian Thanksgiving but “the lockdowns are objectively deadlier than Covid” citing delayed cancer treatments, surgeries, and previously mentioned mental health and economic problems.

Baber, when he released his letter, immediately came under the scrutiny of allies of the Ford government, like conservative journalist Brian Lilley, who asserted that Baber’s open letter was something “that could see him booted from caucus,” as if Lilley signaled the move should and or will be done.

Baber pushed back on Lilley pointing out that his position is based on Ontario Ministry of Health data and that people should be having “frank conversations about the catastrophic toll of the lockdowns.” 

Later that morning when Premier Ford removed Baber he stated that:

Mr. Baber’s comments are irresponsible. By spreading misinformation he is undermining the tireless efforts of our frontline healthcare workers at this critical time, and he is putting people at risk. I will not jeopardize a single Ontarian’s life by ignoring public health advice.

Ford fails to actually point out where Barber was wrong, and simply appeals to emotional rhetoric about COVID-19 having a “devastating impact on people” as if to imply somehow Barber does not care about people’s health and safety despite the whole point of his letter to Ford being about negative health outcomes of the lockdowns.

This is yet another MPP that Ford has removed from the PC party caucus that, like Belinda Karahalios, did not break with Ford on a budgetary matter which was supposed to be the only reason Ford would have any member of his party removed from caucus. This campaign promise seems to have gone by the wayside a long while ago. 

Ford in order to keep unity within the PC party on issues relating to COVID-19 may actually be ripping off chunks of his own support base to do so.

The creation of the Karahalios’ New Blue Party of Ontario, and now 4 separate MPPs kicked out of the PC party caucus could prove to be much more devastating to the party’s support in the long term than political disagreements about lockdown rules in the present.

Wyatt Claypool

Wyatt is a student at Mount Royal University, where he is the president of its Campus Conservative club. In his writing, he focuses on covering provincial and federal politics, firearms regulation, and the energy sector. Wyatt has also previously written for The Post Millennial.

One response to “Doug Ford Removes MPP Baber from PC Caucus for Opposing Lockdowns”

  1. Dave Weaver says:

    Premier Ford is wrong. His lockdown is wrong and trying to silence everyone who disagrees with him is wrong.
    MPP Barber is correct. He makes a logical argument based on the real facts, not the scare mongering rhetoric of public health and the media.
    Respecting public health’s advice is fine but Mr. Ford does not have to follow it, as he is constantly stating. He needs to listen to public health and weigh its’ advice against other voices of reason.
    In this case – do what is best for all Ontario residents. End the lock-down.

    Dave Weaver