As Kamila Lebel-Farrell’s loved ones continued to adjust to her sudden passing, Randy Hillier, Member of Ontario Provincial Parliament (Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston), used student photos while spreading misinformation on the COVID-19 vaccine.
In his post, Hillier included two other recently passed Queen’s students, claiming each person “lost their lives” or is “suffering from a permanent adverse reaction” after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
On Jun. 9, Lebel-Farrell collapsed while on a run in Tindall Field. According to Eilish Brennan, ArtSci ‘23, the cause of her death is currently unknown.
Brennan, a close friend of Lebel-Farrell and an outspoken critic of Hillier, sat down with The Journal to discuss Hillier’s recent posts.
“Him misusing a photo of my friend is something that impacted me and those close to Kamila greatly,” Brennan said.
Brennan said her friend’s information was used without the Lebel-Farrell family’s permission and, despite outcry from those closest to them, Hillier refused to take down the post.
“I had to do something. I thought that I need to remind him that there are people who are grieving and using their loved ones without their consent is despicable,” Brennan said.
Brennan started a petition calling for the government of Canada to condemn Hillier’s exploitation of Ontarians deaths without consent from their families.
“My goal is to file a public complaint to the Ministry of the Solicitor General via the government of Canada’s website. However, in order to do this to its full effect, I require a list of witnesses,” the petition reads.
Hillier’s post has since been deleted by Instagram but remains on his Facebook account.
“Ultimately, the goal is to remove him from a position of power, but the petition is primarily to make [Hillier] aware of how many people this has affected,”Brennan explained.
Brennan added that Lebel-Farrell’s mother has even come across her daughter’s face on American anti-vaccine websites.
Politicians across Canada have weighed in and condemned Hillier’s misinformed social media post. Premier Doug Ford has referred to the incident as “cheese [slipping] off the cracker”and “appalling.”
In the face of criticism, Hillier tweeted a call to the Ontario Provincial Police to investigate the sudden deaths of young individuals across Ontario.
The Journal reached out to MPP Randy Hillier for a statement. He didn’t respond in time for publication.
Lebel-Farrell was a beloved member of the community and had just completed her second year in the Faculty of Arts and Science.
“I met Kamila in first year. She reached out to me through Facebook when we were both put in West campus,” Brennan said.
“We were both kind of bummed about it initially but right off the bat she was so overwhelmingly positive about it, saying that we’re going to have the best time ever […] I ended up truly loving West Campus and I think a lot of it can be attributed to her.”
This past Saturday, Lebel-Farrell’s family and friends gathered to plant a tree in her honor by the waterfront of Gord-Brockington residence.
“Kam’s time at Queen’s was short but she impacted so many people,” Brennan said.
anti-vax, Ontario, Randy Hillier
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