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Conservative MPP Sam Oosterhoff faces backlash after posting maskless group photos

Last Updated Oct 26, 2020 at 4:54 pm EST

Conservative Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff is facing backlash after posting photos to his Facebook page Sunday night, posing in a group of more than 30 people.

In the photos, that have since been deleted from his page, no one is wearing masks and there is no physical distancing.

In a reply to one of the comments on the photos, Oosterhoff posted an explanation, writing “Ontario has a monitored gathering limit of 50 in staffed locations .. This was an event at a staffed banquet hall, with under 50 people, including 5 tables limited to ten people at each.”

The president of the Ontario Hospital Association is calling for his resignation.

“How many health care workers gathered this weekend for a party with 40 other people indoors?” Anthony Dale posted on Twitter.

In a statement to CityNews, Oosterhoff apologized for his actions.

“I should have worn a mask when we took a quick pic, given the proximity of everyone, and I apologize for failing to do so.”

Premier Doug Ford defended Oosterhoof during his daily media update Monday, and said the MPP will remain parliamentary assistant to the education minister.

Watch: Ford defends Oosterhoof after MPP apologizes for maskless photos


“Everyone makes mistakes,” said the premier. “He came out and apologized […] I’m a strong believer, you make a mistake, you go out and apologize and say it’s not going to happen again. I accept that.”