MPP Sarah Jama removed from caucus

Sarah Jama

Ontario NDP leader Marit Stiles has remved Hamilton Centre MPP Sarah Jama from caucus, nearly two weeks after she posted a  statement on X, formerly Twitter, in support of the people of Gaza in the Hamas-Israeli comflict.

Jama, the 29-year-old disability and housing activist who won her seat in a byelection last March, is now listed with the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as an Independent.

Premier Doug Ford who accused her of anti-semetism, has called for her resignation and the Progressive Conservatives voted on Monday to censure her in the House. She is banned from speaking in the chamber until she retracts and deletes her original statement and formally apologizes.

Stiles said in a statement on Monday that while the caucus allows different viewpoints, some of Jama’s actions since making her comments “have contributed to unsafe work environments for staff.”

“Ms. Jama and I had reached an agreement to keep her in the NDP caucus, which included working together in good faith with no surprises. Our caucus and staff have made significant efforts to support her during an undoubtedly difficult time,” Stiles said.

“Since then, she has undertaken a number of unilateral actions that have undermined our collective work and broken the trust of her colleagues.”.

Jama’s original statement posted to X called for an immediate ceasefire as well as an “end to all occupation of Palestinian land.”

She focused largely on the Palestinian territories, saying “violence and retaliation rooted in settler colonialism have taken the lives of far too many innocent people.”

She did not directly mention the Hamas attacks.

In the House on Monday, Jama reaffirmed her support for Palestinians in Gaza.

“I restate my call for an immediate ceasefire by Israeli forces, and for the immediate restoration of food, water, fuel, and electricity to Gaza,” she said.

“”To every person taking risks to speak up for Palestinian dignity and safety, I see you, I hear you, and I am with you, ” she added.