Niagara MPP Sam Oosterhoff spoke at an event Wednesday evening tied to a group that has compared abortion to the Holocaust.
Oosterhoff, who serves as Education Minister Stephen Lecce’s parliamentary assistant, spoke at the virtual event titled “Gen Z: Challenging Abortion in Politics.”
His appearance came amid questions as to whether or not he would still attend given that one of the groups hosting was the National Campus Life Network.
Last month, the National Campus Life Network pinned and posted an article on its Twitter feed about U.S. President Joe Biden’s pro-choice policy, writing, “Making abortions an ‘early priority’ is the same as Hitler who made it an early priority to kill the Jews.”
Noah Shack, vice-president for the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, said in response, “Holocaust comparisons trivialize the atrocities committed by the Nazis.”
Oosterhoff’s plans to attend the event also drew criticism from the Ontario Liberal Party and the Ontario NDP.
“It’s inappropriate for the (parliamentary assistant) to the (minister of education) to attend an event attacking a woman’s right to choose,” Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca said.
“It’s backwards and regressive, and Sam should be removed from his role as a result.”
Oosterhoff said Monday that it’s known that he holds anti-abortion views — the MPP has attended at least one other anti-abortion event as an elected official in 2019 outside of Queen’s Park.
When asked for a comment Monday on Oosterhoff’s affiliation with the event, a spokesperson for Premier Doug Ford said that while they respect a person’s right to their own personal beliefs, “nothing should ever be compared to the horrific acts committed during the Holocaust.”
In a press conference, Ford added that he would be having a conversation with Oosterhoff.
Global News had reached out to the premier’s office for comment following the MPP’s appearance Wednesday but did not receive a response by the time of publication.