Sam Oosterhoff, the 19-year-old Conservative Party MPP for Niagara West—Glanbrook whose views against homosexuality have made him a news item in the last few weeks, refused to answer reporters questions about said viewpoints Wednesday morning.
In video of a scrum recorded by City News before his swearing in Wednesday, Oosterhoff was asked by reporters if he had purposely dodged a vote on Bill 28 (legislation that recognizes same same-sex parents with equal rights in Ontario) by making up excuses for why he couldn't show up Tuesday, or get sworn in at an earlier date.
"Why weren't you in there standing up for the courage of your convictions?" one reporter asked.
Oosterhoff replied by going on a tangent about his niece's birthday on Tuesday, and how that prevented him from being at work. However, reports indicate that it was actually because he was having a party to celebrate his "historic" election.
"Seriously? It would have been more than just your age to make it a historic moment if you came in yesterday and stood up for the courage of your convictions," the reporter continued.
Like almost all of his interactions with the media so far, Oosterhoff evaded the question and reiterated that his focus is on getting sworn in and "serving his constituents."
Despite Oosterhoff's failure to appear, the bill passed with a unanimous vote of all 79 MPs who were present. Half of the Progressive Conservative caucus either did not vote or were not present, Oosterhoff included.
Yesterday, Oosterhoff decried the bill on Twitter as being "disrespectful to mothers and fathers," but refused to elaborate when asked by reporters about it Wednesday.
"Are you ashamed of your beliefs? Is that why you won't answer any of these questions directly?" Globe and Mail reporter Adrian Morrow asked, to which Oosterhoff replied, "Absolutely not."
Still, Morrow—among a dozen other reporters who had prepared to scrum the MP Wednesday—continued.
"You said homosexuality was a sin on Facebook, but now you won't say anything one way or another, so you must be ashamed," Morrow said.
"I never said that on Facebook," Oosterhoff fired back at reporters, who corrected him on the fact that he actually did. In fact, Oosterhoff previously made numerous online posts about his stances on homosexuality and abortion (prior to making his Facebook private), which reporters have saved and reuploaded online.
All attempts by VICE to contact Oosterhoff have gone unanswered or been declined as of publication of this story.
Screencap via CityNews
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