A number of politicians including a mayor, a former MLA and several former councillors have joined the newly launched End the Lockdown Caucus, one day after it was announced by the Liberty Coalition of Canada.
The caucus, which originally consisted of Ontario MPP Randy Hillier, former Conservative MP Derek Sloan, former MP and People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier, Perth East Councillor Darryl Herlick and Centre Wellington Councillor Steve VanLeeuwen, has since added four politicians to its membership.
The new additions include West Lincoln, Ontario Mayor Dave Bylsma, former MLA and interim leader of the Wildrose Independence Party Paul Hinman, and former Rocky Mountain House, Alberta councillor Jason Alderson and former Innisfail, Alberta councillor Glen Carrit.
A statement signed by all members of the group calls for an end to lockdowns on the grounds that they have caused more harm than the problems created by the virus itself.
“We devote our energy and efforts to the just and compassionate objective of reopening our businesses, schools, places of worship, recreational facilities, along with the full resumption and expansion of efficient medical services. We desire to restore dignity and respect for all Canadians by safeguarding our representative democracy and its institutions, defending our Constitution, personal freedoms and responsibilities, whilst implementing focused protection for the most vulnerable,” reads the statement.
According to Hillier, the campaign has seen great growth since its launch yesterday and more elected officials have come forward to express interest.
“[The mainstream media] has certainly done anything possible to suppress and to marginalize any dissenting voices. I think that really is the key to all of this and why this initiative was started,” Hillier told True North.
“A great many people throughout our country know that this is wrong but we are living a lie because only one opinion is allowed and permitted to be heard in the public square. So that’s really the purpose of the caucus is to give voice to those millions of people in Canada who don’t want to live a lie, who want to have an honest debate and to have a truthful discussion.”
Hillier and others in the caucus have courted controversy in the past for expressing opposition to provincial and federal lockdown measures.
Over the holidays, Hillier publicly posted a photograph of himself gathering with loved ones over the holidays contrary to Ontario’s stay-at-home orders. He has also recently posted about attending an in-person church service.
“The greatest problem we have to overcome is that there’s a great many people who share my sentiments and the sentiments of Maxime and Derek and others, but there is a reluctance and an outright hesitation to speak truthfully on this,” said Hillier.
“A great many people throughout our country know that this is wrong but we are living a lie because only one opinion is allowed and permitted to be heard in the public square so that’s really the purpose of the caucus is to give voice to those millions of people in Canada who don’t want to live a lie, who want to have an honest debate and to have a truthful discussion.”