Michael Mantha has been removed from the Ontario NDP's caucus and will sit as an Independent MPP as alleged workplace misconduct is investigated, the party revealed on Saturday.
Mantha, who's held the northern Ontario riding of Algoma—Manitoulin for the New Democrats since 2011, has been on a leave from his MPP duties, as The Trillium first reported on Thursday.
NDP Leader Marit Stiles was already in the process of removing Mantha from the party's caucus over a complaint before The Trillium inquired about his absence earlier this week, according to a well-placed NDP source.
A third party is handling the investigation into the allegations against Mantha and the NDP is keeping certain information private to protect the identity of the individual who made it, Stiles said in a statement on Saturday.
"I take my responsibility to create a safe workplace seriously," the NDP leader added.
Mantha hasn't attended his regular legislative duties this year. The house resumed its sitting on Feb. 21 after rising for winter breaking on Dec. 8, 2022. That was the last day Mantha participated in debate or a vote at the legislature, official records show.
Mantha also hasn't posted on his website or his Twitter or Instagram accounts since early February. On Feb. 10 he wrote that he was "very excited to return to the legislature with Marit Stiles as the (new)... Leader of the Official Opposition." Stiles took over as the party's leader on Feb. 4.
Mantha had been the official Opposition critic for natural resources, mines, and Ring of Fire issues until Stiles reorganized the NDP's critic roles last week. Mantha's portfolio was reduced to mines alone.
Mantha is the first MPP that Stiles has removed from the NDP caucus as its leader. There are now 30 members in the official Opposition caucus.