Cambridge MPP Belinda Karahalios ejected from QP Chamber for not being vaccinated
TORONTO -- Cambridge MPP Belinda Karahalios was ejected from the Queen’s Park Legislative Chamber in Toronto Tuesday morning.
Karahalios was asked twice to leave before she was escorted out.
“I need to address the member for Cambridge,” said Ted Arnott, the House Speaker and MPP for Wellington-Halton Hills, when the legislative session began. “The member for Cambridge is obviously in the precinct and in the chamber at the present time, in contravention of the current COVID-19 screening protocols that have been adopted by the legislature. And I must now ask the member to withdraw from the chamber and leave the precinct. Member for Cambridge?”
“The rules you have set out is proof double vaccination or proof negative rapid antigen test, which I was able to provide this morning,” responded Karahalios during the exchange. “I’m not in contravention of the rules.”
Arnott then pressed, reminding Karahalios that her immunization status and having recently tested positive for COVID-19 means she can’t be inside the chamber.
“As the member knows full well, being unvaccinated and having tested positive for COVID-19, the current advice from the public officer of health is that she must be out of the chamber for the next 90 days starting from the date on which she tested positive. I’ll ask the member once again to leave the chamber,” said Arnott.
He added that Karahalios was first asked to leave when she arrived at the building, and then again when she entered the chamber.
Arnott said at that point he felt the need to publicly name her.
After Karahalios was removed the Independent MPP took to Twitter, calling the Ford government a “disgrace.”
This is the first time a Member of Provincial Parliament has been ejected due to their COVID-19 immunization status during the pandemic.
"They can work in their constituency office," Arnott said. "Many are working from home and, of course, that opportunity is still available to any member that is not able to come into the building."
Legislature will soon break, and when it returns in February, Karahalios' 90 days will have concluded.