Some red faces at Queen’s Park today as Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff posted a photo of a gathering he attended on the weekend where about 40 people, including Oosterhoff are seen posing for a picture not masked and huddled closely together. The matter was raised in Question Period at Queens Park today including the predictable call for his resignation as parliamentary assistant to Education Minister Stephen Lecce.
Oosterhoff posted the pictures, but quickly deleted them, following backlash over the amount of people, and the lack of masks and physical distancing.
When asked for a comment, Oosterhoff’s staff reminded us that Ontario has a monitored gathering limit of 50 in staffed locations.
The staff members said it was an event at a staffed banquet hall, with under 50 people, including 5 tables distanced and limited to under ten people at each.
Oosterhoff does say he should have worn a mask when the group took the quick picture, given the proximity of everyone, and he apologized for failing to do so.
In the legislature today Government House Leader Paul Calandra said he spoke to Oosterhoff about the posting as did the Premier and that the young MPP had apologized for the lapse in judgment.,
At his news conference Monday Ford was asked by CHCH reporter Randy Rath whether he still had confidence in Oosterhoff given that staff in the banquet hall said they had to asked the group several times during the evening to adhere to social distancing rules.