PC MPP Amanda Simard says she has 'pushed the limits' on criticizing her party over French services - 2018-11-27
A Progressive Conservative MPP who broke ranks with her government over changes to French-language services in Ontario is calling on Premier Doug Ford to reverse course while acknowledging she has "pushed the limits" by speaking out against her own party.
Amanda Simard, the only franco-Ontarian in Mr. Ford's caucus, returned to Queen's Park for the first time on Tuesday since criticizing her government's decision to cancel plans for a francophone university and cut the office of the French-language watchdog and merge it with the provincial Ombudsman. During Question Period, Ms. Simard didn't applaud or give standing ovations to government ministers – as her caucus colleagues did – but applauded a question about French services from the NDP.
Ms. Simard's public criticisms sparked talk in Tory circles, first reported in the Toronto Star, that she may be defecting to the Liberals, although interim Liberal Leader John Fraser said Tuesday he hasn't spoken to her about switching parties. Ms. Simard told reporters she remains a member of the PC caucus for now, but added that her focus is on representing her constituents.