During Monday night’s council meeting, Smiths Falls’ town council condemned the actions of Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston MPP Randy Hillier during the Covid-19 pandemic. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, our Member of Provincial Parliament has publicly shared his disregard for the precautions outlined by Ontario’s public health officials, in particular the requirement of wearing masks when social distancing is difficult. He has also expressed disdain for lockdowns and school closures.
Smiths Falls’ town council received a letter from the town council of South Frontenac condemning Hillier’s actions and announcing that they do not support his position. Smiths Falls town council unanimously voted to pass a resolution in solidarity with South Frontenac.
Councillor Christopher McGuire addressed the council: “This is an important resolution to pass to show our support for public health and everybody that’s making a sacrifice for the greater good during this time. As Canadians we come together when we’ve got a challenge like this.
“We’re doing it because we don’t want to see our hospitals overwhelmed; we don’t want to see the 6-figure death-counts we’ve seen in [other] countries. What we’re doing right now is really important; it’s what defines us as a community, it’s really the backbone of everything we do. So by passing this resolution we’re making a firm stand; we’re standing with public health.”
Mayor Shawn Pankow added that he believes Hillier is part of a dissenting minority. “I don’t believe MPP HIllier speaks for the majority of people within our riding. I think the majority of people in Smiths Falls are doing everything they can to keep one another safe.
“Until recently, we felt we were doing quite well locally. In the course of the last couple of weeks we’ve seen the numbers rise. This is nothing we’ve ever planned for or anticipated in our lifetime, but because it’s on our doorstep and in our community, we have to do what we can to keep our community safe. I think we’re all disappointed with our MPP’s actions, and we need to do what we can to speak against that and speak for public health and what they’re doing to keep us safe.”
Councillor McGuire noted that constituents can and should make their opinions known at the polls. “These things don’t just happen out of the blue. We all need to be engaged, to know who we’re voting for.”