Cambridge MP Belinda Karahalios left PC caucus after voting against emergency COVID-19 bill

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The Ontario Progressive Conservative Party caucus kicked out Cambridge MP Belinda Karahalios on Tuesday after she voted against Bill 195.The bill, titled Reopening Ontario, is at third reading and extends orders made under the Emergency Management and Emergency Preparedness Act, allowing Premier Doug Ford’s government to maintain measures emergency in place for some time without a vote. to the legislature

In a statement to CBC News, the Prime Minister’s Office confirmed that Karahalios no longer sat with the PC party caucus.

“Our government’s top priority is the health and safety of all Ontarians, and Bill 195 is an important piece of legislation that protects every citizen during the pandemic,” the release said.

Bill an “unnecessary overtaking”: Karahalios

In a press release sent from an account that is not an Ontario government email address, Karahalios said she voted against Bill 195 because it was “a unnecessary damage to our parliamentary democracy.

“Basically, Bill 195 takes away the ability of the legislature to vote on the use of extraordinary emergency powers over Ontarians for the next year,” Karahalios said in the statement.

“By giving Ontario MPs the ability to review, debate and vote on how emergency powers are used on Ontarians, Bill 195 silences every Ontario MP on the most important issue facing our legislature today, ”she added.

His position against Bill 195 was supported across the aisle, as the official opposition criticized the Progressive Conservatives for “passing a law that will do nothing to help Ontarians.”

Gilles Bisson, the head of the house of the NDP, said in a press release Tuesday evening that Ontario Premier Doug Ford had “abruptly” closed the legislature for the summer.

“With Bill 195, Ford is giving itself unprecedented and undemocratic powers to make rules in secret behind closed doors,” Bisson said.

“The official opposition congratulates Ms. Karahalios for her principled position. ”

Karahalios is an MP for the first time and won her seat with 37% of the vote. She beat outgoing Liberal Kathryn McGarry, who has since become Mayor of Cambridge.

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