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New far-right threat for Ontario

John Bell

December 22, 2021
Maxime Bernier is using the COVID emergency to try and forge a new, right-wing political force in Ontario politics.
To date, 3 splinter parties have moved to the right of the Doug Ford Conservatives. The New Blue Party, predates the pandemic and opposes Ford because, with his helter skelter populist politics, he is not a pure conservative. The Ontario Party began in 2018, formed by a handful of individuals like former MP Derek Sloan and disgraced Ottawa councillor Rick Chiarelli – these are people that federal and provincial Conservative parties have expelled or tried to isolate.
Then there is the newest spawn of the far-right anti-vaxx movement, the Ontario First Party, formed around former MPP Randy Hillier. OFP now has the endorsement and material support of the People’s Party of Canada. Maxime Bernier, who has had modest success using a combination of COVID skepticism, anti-immigrant politics, and dog-whistle white supremacy to build a nation presence, is calling on these 3 groups to unite behind Hillier.
“I’m supporting the (Ontario First Party) and (I’m) supporting Randy Hillier,” Bernier told a press conference. “I hope that all these other little parties will come under Randy — and that would be more efficient to fight the tyrannical Government of Ontario.”
Who is Randy Hillier? He has been a Conservative MPP from the Kingston area since 2007. In 2019 Doug Ford kicked him out of the Conservative Party because he was an embarrassment and too far to the right. He sits as an independent. As well as positioning himself at the head of the anti-vaxx movement, Hillier consistently denies climate change, is a vocal opponent of “woke” politics, ridicules the idea of systemic racism, and opposes public services – especially public health services.
He promotes the conspiracy theory that COVID does not exist. He has tweeted “there is no (COVID-19) pandemic & never was, we were duped”. He went further, egging his followers to engage in violence against people taking precaution – “we must start shaming those who wear a mask, as they shame others, the masks are coercing us to live their lie.”
Those on the left who limit politics to electoralism will be tempted to cheer on the drive for far-right unity. Although the People’s Party failed to elect any candidates in the federal election, it is estimated that they were responsible for the Erin O’Toole Conservatives losing a number of close races.
But these new right-wing formations will not limit themselves to electoral politics. Their role in organizing demonstrations to attack vaccine clinics, hospitals and health care workers shows that. They are a pole of attraction for white supremacist and Nazis.
In fact, just last night - December 21 - the anti-vaxx far right attacked and vandalizedthe homes of Dr. Mustafa Hirji, Niagara Region’s acting Medical Officer of Health and St. Catharines Ward 4 Councillor Karrie Porter. 
Hopefully the monstrous egos, opportunism and delusional conspiracy politics rife in all these splinters will keep them from coming together. If they do, we will be facing a new breeding ground for fascism.
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