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Lawmaker leaves PC Party over French-language cuts

MPP Amanda Simard leaves the PC Party over francophone cuts.



Eli Ridder | Report

Rookie Queen’s Park legislator Amanda Simard announced her resignation from the Progressive Conservatives on Thursday morning in protest over the premier’s cuts to French language services.

Simard, who represents the 70 per cent francophone riding of Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, was predicted to potentially leave by the Toronto Star on Friday following tensions after Doug Ford cut the French-language watchdog and plans for a Francophone university.

While leaving an early morning caucus meeting, Premier Ford said he did not know Simard was planning to leave before largely avoiding questions from iPolitics reporter Marieke Walsh.

Ford did add that his party was “more united than we’ve ever been. Ever.”

In a statement to Speaker Ted Arnott, Simard said: “Effective immediately, I am no longer a member of the Progressive Conservative caucus.”

Letter from Amanda Simard.

“I will continue to take my place in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as an Independent. Please advise me if I need to take any other steps as a result of this change. Thank you in advance for your continued support.”

There has yet to be an official response from the PC Party, however, Ford said on Wednesday that he wanted her part of his team, as the sole francophone PC Member of of Provincial Parliament.

Image of Amanda Simard from the Toronto Star. ■

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