'I can be a thorn': Randy Hillier on why he's making noise on his way out of PC caucus - 2019-03-31
After being kicked out of caucus two weeks ago, Mr. Hillier has made assertions that caucus is being muzzled, forced into standing ovations and living a culture of "fear and intimidation" in Mr. Ford's government. Mr. Hillier has also brought unspecified allegations of possible illegal lobbying by the Premier's close friends and advisers to Ontario Integrity Commissioner J. David Wake's office. He said he will meet again with the office this week.
Mr. Hillier won't specify the allegations or who he is making them about, but adds, "I don't lose very often." He has singled out the Premier's chief of staff, Dean French and Chris Froggatt, the chair of Mr. Ford's election-readiness committee as the "backroom operatives" responsible for his ouster. Mr. Froggatt runs a lobbying and strategic communications firm, but says he does not personally lobby the government.
"There's ample evidence of incompetence," Mr. Hillier said of Mr. Ford's team. For one, he cites the departure of another MPP from the PC caucus, Amanda Simard, who quit over the government's handling of the franco-Ontarian file. Mr. Hillier is now in talks with the other independents - including seven Liberals, who don't have official party status - over how to best co-ordinate their efforts in the legislature.