Editor: In the past, in this space, I have supported the right of Chatham-Kent-Leamington MPP, Rick Nicholls, to defend his anti-vaccination position – as a private citizen. I still do.
Unfortunately, he continues to promote his views publicly as a member of the Ontario Legislature, in opposition to the stated position of the party he was elected to serve, and as a representative of the people of Chatham-Kent–Leamington.
Most recently, he appeared on a nationally syndicated, American radio show out of Las Vegas, hosted by the extreme right wing conspiracy theorist Wayne Allyn Root.
To begin with, he is a backbencher in the Ontario Legislature where he sits as an independent, and yet he was introduced by the host as a “high level politician in Canada.”
Continuing, during the course of the interview rife with misinformation, he made inflammatory, irresponsible, and unsubstantiated claims, stating that Prime Minister Trudeau had “paid off” the media to not report the “facts” on the pandemic and claiming that doctors were afraid to speak out for fear of losing their jobs and not being able to pay off their student loans.
In my view, it’s unfortunate that Mr. Nicholls has chosen to take the positions he has on the current pandemic crisis we are all facing. For him to appear on an American radio show, that presumably reaches millions of people, to tacitly set himself up as a spokesman for the people of Ontario is unconscionable.
Mr. Nicholls should be reminded that he was elected to represent the people of Chatham-Kent–Leamington, who through their actions, have indicated a majority support for vaccination.