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'Just ignore him:' Perth mayor does not publicly condemn local MPP who flouts COVID restrictions

John Fenik told a council committee that residents should ignore the member of provincial parliament, and instead focus on making their voices heard in the next election.
john fenik mask
Perth Mayor, John Fenik

While a number of towns in the Kingston, Lanark and Frontenac area are condemning the actions of a local MPP who has been flouting provincial COVID restrictions during the pandemic, the Town of Perth is not.

Councillor Judy Brown was the only member to vote in favour of the motion she put forward to publicly condemn the independent MPP, like the councils in Smiths Falls, South and North Frontenac did.

Perth Mayor John Fenik told the council committee of the whole meeting Tuesday that every time the Lanark, Frontenac, Kingston MPP is challenged, he ups the ante.

Earlier this month, on April 8, around 70 people rallied against public health measures that they feel infringe on their liberty and freedoms at a gym on Bank Street in Ottawa, including the controversial MPP. 

On that same day, an anti-lockdown event was held at a bistro in Kemptville where the member of provincial parliament was also in attendance.  

According to the North Grenville Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), there were about 200 people at that rally, and video from the site shows men, women and children gathered without masks or social distancing in place. 

Mayor Fenik told council that the best thing to do is take his soapbox away and just ignore him. 

"The best thing we can do is absolutely dismiss him, ignore him and speak loudly in the next election," said Fenik at council. 

Most recently, on April 10, the local MPP attended an anti-mask and anti-lockdown rally in southern Ontario, speaking from a float that featured an image of Hitler and the words, "Stand against the great reset. Take back our freedoms." 

The "Great Reset" is a conspiracy theory where those who believe it claim a group of world leaders orchestrated the COVID-19 pandemic to take control of the global economy.

Another anti-lockdown demonstration and media briefing will take place Thursday on Parliament Hill, where the local MPP will be joined by a member of parliament from southern Ontario with similar views on the provincial COVID-19 measures. 

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