Ontario Conservative MP steps out of PC caucus after voting against COVID-19 recovery bill

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TORONTO – An Ontario MPP will no longer sit as a member of the Progressive Conservative caucus after voting against the party’s proposed omnibus bill for the recovery of COVID-19. The Prime Minister’s Office confirmed that Cambridge MP Belinda Karahalios was no longer a member of the PC caucus in a statement released Tuesday evening.

“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,” said the Premier’s Office.

Earlier today, Karahalios voted against Bill 195, a bill that extended certain COVID-19 emergency measures such as closing public places, restricting gatherings and monitoring policies regarding homes long-term care.

The bill would also amend about 20 different laws, including laws that govern Ontario’s schools, municipalities and the justice system.

In a statement, Karahalios called the legislation “unnecessary overshoot.”

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

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

All Ontario emergency orders related to COVID-19 expire July 24.

Karahalios was elected in 2018 and had served as Parliamentary Assistant to Solicitor General Sylvia Jones.

Last year, she introduced a bill to legislate on fair and open races for those who want to run for party nominations, leadership races and executive roles after her husband filed a complaint alleging that the PC party manipulated a presidential race in an attempt to prevent it from doing so. winner.

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