Ousted MPP Paul Miller belonged to Islamophobic Facebook group, Ontario NDP says

‘I have never posted anything on Twitter or Facebook. Frankly, I’m not that great at the internet,’ Miller said. ‘I have done absolutely nothing wrong’

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TORONTO — Ontario’s New Democrats say they removed a longtime legislator from caucus because he was found to be a member of an Islamophobic Facebook group.

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The party’s provincial director has issued a statement giving more details about Paul Miller’s ouster.

Lucy Watson says the party’s vetting process ahead of the expected June election discovered that Miller was a member of the Worldwide Coalition Against Islam Facebook group.

Watson says any candidates or caucus members would be disqualified for membership in an Islamophobic and racist group.

Miller has called the party’s claims “false allegations,” and said he is consulting with a lawyer to contest them.

Miller said on Wednesday that the party showed him a social media post as the basis for removing him from caucus — evidence he contests because he said he does not write his own Facebook posts.

“I have never posted anything on Twitter or Facebook. Frankly, I’m not that great at the internet,” Miller said at the provincial legislature, where he currently sits as an independent member. “I have done absolutely nothing wrong.”

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The NDP did not immediately respond but said last week that the information about Miller is not a police matter.

Miller said the post was “offensive” to the general population but he didn’t elaborate on its specific content. He claimed he wasn’t given opportunity to explain himself before being kicked out of caucus.

Miller said he intends to run as an independent in Hamilton-East Stoney Creek, the riding he has represented since 2007, in the upcoming election.

On Wednesday, he attributed the party’s decision to remove him to “cancel culture” and pointed to tension between himself and party leader Andrea Horwath, saying she did not speak to him directly about the matter.

“We’ve had our differences over policy, direction the party’s going in,” he said. “Unfortunately, in our society now, with this cancel culture stuff, if you don’t agree with somebody … they find a way to fabricate things.”

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He did not elaborate fully on his issues with the NDP’s “new direction,” but repeated his past assertions that the party wants to run “a new type of candidate.”

“I don’t think I fit that mould,” he said. Miller also said he was asked in 2017 and 2021 not to run again.

Horwath did not take media questions on Wednesday. She shared few details when she was asked about the situation with Miller earlier in the week.

Horwath, who has been party leader since 2009 and also represents a Hamilton riding, said Monday that she had not removed a member from caucus before. She called the move a “difficult decision” but said she couldn’t provide more specifics.

“It’s never easy, but I do have to take the situation seriously, give it the thought that it requires,” she said on Monday. “We do want to be a party that reflects the values ​​of Ontarians. Unfortunately … I can’t share anything else.”

Miller on Wednesday said he would have “no problem” with the NDP disclosing their findings related to him, and said the party should expand on its reasons for expelling him.

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