Ejected Hamilton MPP Miller says he has evidence of no wrongdoing amid NDP Facebook probe

Hamilton MPP Paul Miller was kicked out of the NDP caucus in March for allegedly being a member of an Islamophobic Facebook group. He insists there's proof that he was not the responsible. Global News

A Hamilton MPP, kicked out of the New Democrat (NDP) caucus, insists he has evidence he’s not responsible for connections to an anti-Muslim group that have showed up on his Facebook account.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek representative Paul Miller says his staff has always managed his account and that he has proof of “multiple, unauthorized logins” to the platform on his behalf.

“Why did Andrea fail to ask me for very basic questions before taking the oppressive decision to remove me from my position eight weeks before an election,” Miller told reporters at a Queen’s Park presser.

“Had Andrea done the proper due diligence or given me the benefit of a brief conversation, it would have been plain and obvious that I did nothing wrong.”

Story continues below advertisement

Miller says his investigation was “forced” at his own personal expense due to retaining legal and technology experts to review data associated with his social media presence.

His evidence to reporters was a handout showing printouts of a Facebook notification from Jan. 30, 2018, saying “You stopped being a member of WCAI (Worldwide Coalition Against Islam).”

“At least a dozen people in my office over the years had access to our social media pages since they were created in 2007, and the password did not change until recently,” Miller claimed.

“We have conclusive evidence that there has been multiple unauthorized logins to our account from multiple devices in multiple cities.”

The MPP says he has evidence of “specific logins and activity from unauthorized users” and that he is pursuing multiple legal actions against Andrea Horvath and the NDP, including wrongful dismissal, defamation, and multiple human rights violations.

Story continues below advertisement

“Andrea Horwath, eight weeks before an election, made the decision to remove me from the NDP caucus, effectively taking away my ability to do my job, earn a living, and continue to represent … the people in my community,” said Miller.

“This has deeply affected me on a personal and professional level.”

Ontario’s New Democrats removed the legislator from caucus on March 23 after discovering he was found to be a member of an Islamophobic Facebook group.

In a statement, the party’s provincial director Lucy Watson said the party’s vetting process ahead of the expected June election discovered that Miller was a member of WCAI.

Watson said the finding came after “a pattern of troubling behaviour that indicated that Paul Miller may harbour Islamophobic, homophobic and racist views.”

“This pattern of behaviour crossed any reasonable line when Mr. Miller’s vet was recently finalized. His membership in the Facebook group … was discovered,” she wrote.

In his defence, Miller said he has never been in such a group and never supported any beliefs tied to the organization.

He says Horwath’s decision was based on one line from his Facebook account from 2018, which he says she never followed up with him on how it got there.

Story continues below advertisement

In a statement following Miller’s dismissal in March, Watson acknowledged the 2018 complaint which involved allegations of racist and homophobic remarks brought forward by a staffer.

She said it was the party’s “express expectation” that Miller change his behaviour.

For some time, she said, “there were no public or private complaints of homophobic, racist or Islamophobic behaviour,” but she pointed to an independent investigation by the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board that “continued the old pattern.”

Horwath, who has been party leader since 2009 and represents the riding of Hamilton Centre, has yet to comment on Wednesday’s presser.

Miller says he will be an official candidate for Hamilton East—Stoney Creek in the provincial election, having filed his papers as an Independent.

He’ll face Liberal and longtime downtown councillor Jason Farr, former CFL player and PC candidate Neil Lumsden and the NDP’s Zaigham Butt.

Despite the current controversy, he’s confident with his chances in the June 2 vote.

“I won by a good margin last time,” Miller said.

“Once this gets out, I think … anyone who had any doubts will return to the fold.”

Story continues below advertisement

— with files from the Canadian Press


Sponsored content