Independent MPP for Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston Randy Hillier’s latest social media diatribe has again stirred outrage among residents, this time also drawing the ire of a Jewish-Canadian advocacy group for what they called the “false equivalencies” of comparing public health measures with the Holocaust.
Hillier’s post, which depicted Adolf Hitler looking out to a large Nazi crowd and included the caption “The third wave,” was posted on Thursday, Apr. 1, 2021, as many Jewish residents commemorated Passover. The post appeared to make a comparison between recent public health measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 with Adolf Hitler, the Third Reich and Nazi Germany. Kingstonist has opted to not link to or reproduce Hillier’s tweet out of respect for the victims of the Holocaust and their surviving loved ones.
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) responded swiftly. “Lockdowns are not the Holocaust. Vaccines are not the Holocaust. This cannot be said enough,” the organization said. “From trivializing the plight of Anne Frank, to this most recent unacceptable post from Ontario MPP Randy Hillier, these ignorant analogies have no place in civil discourse. CIJA and our community partners in Kingston condemn this shameful abuse of history and call on MPP Randy Hillier to take it down immediately.”
“Comparing restaurants not being able to have patrons dine in and stores only allowed 25 per cent capacity to the Holocaust where >6 million humans were killed. Go see your doctor,” replied one person to Hillier’s post. “During Passover, Randy? You’re an embarrassment to your riding,” said another.
Ian Arthur, the MPP for the neighbouring riding of Kingston and the Islands, said: “Randy Hillier should remove his offensive tweet immediately. There is no place in Canadian politics for politicians who equate public health measures with Hitler and the Nazis. Disgusting.”
Mark Gerretsen, the federal Member of Parliament in neighbouring Kingston and the Islands, similarly denounced his comments. “I am absolutely shocked and horrified to see a post like this come from someone who represents part of Kingston,” said Gerretsen. “Randy Hillier needs to be removed from office.”
Hillier has already been temporarily suspended on multiple occasions by Twitter for previous offensive posts. Despite multiple users stating that they had reported this most recent tweet, the tweet remained on late Friday afternoon and it was not immediately clear what, if any, enforcement actions the social media site was taking.