MPP who recently tested positive for COVID-19 booted from Queen’s Park

By Neetu Seupersadsingh, Michael Ranger

An MPP with a history of controversy was ejected from the Chamber in Queen’s Park on Tuesday morning for recently testing positive for COVID-19.

Independent MPP Belinda Karahalios was told to leave by the speaker, who argued she was not supposed to be in the building..

“I need to address the member for Cambridge – 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,” said MPP Ted Arnott.

Karahalios refused to leave and said “the rules that you’ve set out is proof of double vaccination or proof of negative rapid antigen test, which I was able to provide this morning.”

The rules state that anyone who has not provided proof of vaccination and contracts COVID-19 must stay away from the Legislature for three months.

“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,” said Arnott.

Karahalios previously tweeted on Nov. 21 that she tested positive for the virus two days earlier.

She took to Twitter following the ejection from the Legislature, saying she was removed despite being “the MPP least likely to spread COVID-19.”

In June 2020, Karahalios was kicked out of the Progressive Conservative caucus by Premier Doug Ford for voting against a sweeping law that extended pandemic emergency orders. Karahalios, who represents the riding of Cambridge, had said she opposed the measure because it gave Ford’s government too much power.

Karahalios was the only Tory to break ranks on the vote.

Following the split from caucus, Belinda formed the New Blue Party of Ontario with her husband Jim Karahalios. The party was officially registered by Elections Ontario in January 2021.

This is her first term as a Member of Provincial Parliament.

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