The union that represents over 155,000 public service employees across Ontario is demanding Premier Doug Ford kick Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff out of PC caucus after remarks he made in regards to abortion.
In a release issued Tuesday morning, OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas said: “If there was ever an argument to have a mechanism to recall politicians in Ontario, Oosterhoff is a perfect example.”
On May 9, Oosterhoff appeared on stage at an anti-abortion protest at Queen’s Park pledging to demonstrators “to fight to make abortion unthinkable in our lifetime.”
PC MPP’s Christina Mitas and Will Bouma were also in attendance. Oosterhoff’s comments immediately drew harsh criticism from the opposition and ignited a social media firestorm.
On Saturday, protesters dressed in red cloaks resembling costumes from the television adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale confronted Oosterhoff at an event at the Grimsby branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.
Thomas said Oosterhoff’s views on women’s rights are unacceptable and a “chilling threat to the right of women to control their own bodies.”
The OPSEU president said in Tuesday’s release “at the very least the Premier should send a signal to women by booting him out of his caucus.”
Ford’s office did not comment on the OPSEU release when contacted by Global News Tuesday, however, a spokesperson for Ford’s office referred to a statement issued on May 9.
“The Ontario PC Party is a big-tent. We welcome members from a wide variety of backgrounds and beliefs. Our government is focused on protecting what matters most, cleaning up a fiscal mess left behind by the Liberals, making Ontario open for business and open for jobs, and lowering taxes for families. The Government will not re-open the abortion debate,” the release said.
OPSEU First Vice-President Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, who represents union members from Niagara, said the 21-year-old MPP is “not ready for prime time.”
“I know plenty of people in their 20s who bring a lot of wisdom to the table and have taught me things, but this young man has a lot of growing up to do,” Almeida said.
The VP also called on the PC party and Ford to take swift action saying, “This is an attack on women. Period. The only way Doug Ford can show that he respects women’s rights is to give this arrogant little twerp the boot.”
Global News reached out to Oosterhoff for comment but had not heard back by time of publication.