Popular Niagara Falls Restaurant Suffering Undue Wrath Over Oosterhoff’s Maskless Photo

Niagara West MPP and Ford Government member is being called out again for going maskless in a group photo as Ontario surges into a second wave of the pandemic

Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates defends Betty’s Restaurant in Ontario Legislature where Niagara West Tory MPP appeared early this October in a maskless group photo shoot

The Decent Thing for Niagara West Tory MPP Sam Oosterhoff to do it go back to the Restaurant – Mask On and in Front of the Media – And Issue a Public Apology to the Restaurant’s Family Owners and Staff!

A News Release from the Constituency Office of Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates, followed by some brief comments about Oosterhoff’s irresponsible conduct by Doug Draper at Niagara At Large

Posted October 30th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls, Ontario NDP MPP Wayne Gates

QUEEN’S PARK – Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates rose this October 29th)  to defend Chippawa restaurant Betty’s, following the controversy that arose when a photo surfaced of (Niagara West and Ford government) MPP Sam Oosterhoff and his family at the restaurant in close quarters without a mask.

“As the MPP who represents Chippawa where Betty’s Restaurant is located. I’ve seen the backlash caused by the story about the member from Niagara West this week,” said Gates.

“I want to add my voice on behalf of my community. I know the restaurant’s owner, Joe Miszk, who is a friend of mine. He’s a good man, a good father and a great community leader. I know he’s doing everything he can to keep Betty’s safe and his staff.

“To anyone listening: I want you to know that Betty’s is a wonderful restaurant and encourage you to continue to support it. I want to ask people to stop holding Joe responsible for what happened. You must understand that Betty’s is a restaurant that was overjoyed to have the MPP from Niagara West there along with his family.”

Betty’s Restaurant in Niagara Falls, Ontario has been a popular eatery for many locals and tourists for decades now. Why should it be taking wrath for Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff maskless photo shoot when staff at the restaurant reportedly asked him and his entourage more than once to respect the rules for wearing masks and social distancing?

Gates went on to share comments from Bernadette Miszk, wife of the owner Joe Miszk.

“I can no longer tolerate the cruel, nasty and threatening comments and phone calls my husband, Joe, or his staff have been receiving these past few days. Honestly, we are losing much-needed sleep over this situation.

“To attack the character of my husband is both ignorant and hurtful not only to him but to our entire family. For those of you who made all these terrible comments about my husband without even knowing him, let me tell you, he is a man of integrity and a well-respected man in our community,” she wrote in a post on Facebook.

Gates continued, “Joe and his staff should never have been put in this position. I want to say before this House that Joe is a good man who has experienced the unimaginable loss of his daughter this year. I know Joe and his staff tried their best to enforce safety guidelines. Be kind, wear your mask and I hope you join me in supporting the staff and the owner of Betty’s,” said Gates.

Here is the group photo, maskless and no social distancing. Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff is identified in the circle in the upper left-hand corner of the photo

A Brief Footnote from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper –

Ontario Premier Doug Ford, at right during an event with his Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff last year, is so far standing by the MPP for his maskless exhibition, suggesting instead that “we can all do better” when it comes to abiding by COVID-19 safety rules. Yet shouldn’t our elected leaders be setting a good

Niagara At Large sent an email this October 29th to Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff asking him if he might consider offering a public apology to Betty’s Restaurant in Niagara Falls, Ontario, including its owners and staff, for taking advantage of the restaurant to take a large group photo with not one in it wearing a mask, despite requests from the restaurant’s staff that he and his entourage wear masks.

Oosterhoff later published that photo on his Facebook page, then took it down after it began receiving widespread public criticism.

The MPP, who also serves as parliamentary assistant to the province’s education minister, issued a brief apology for the photo at the time, and his political boss, Premier Doug Ford, asked us to cut Oosterhoff slack because “we all make mistakes.” Pivoting away from Oosterhoff’s failure as a public role model, Ford also went on to suggest that “we can all do better.”

Indeed, there are at least some individuals among the public at large who could do better – a few have even made a libertarian crusade out of not wearing masts – but that misses the point.

As I just mentioned, Oosterhoff is a public figure, representing a government and an Education Ministry that has, among other things, stressed the need for elementary and secondary school students, their teachers and others in the school system to wear masks and take other safety precautions for the sake of themselves and others around them.

Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff appears to be doing a bit of clowning in the Ontario legislature.

If Oosterhoff, either through ignorance or arrogance or some zoned-out Trumpian views he harbours about the danger we all face here, cannot be entrusted to accept his responsibility in that role then, as everyone from the head of the Ontario Hospital Association to leaders of Teacher Unions have said, he should resign his role as a parliamentary assistant for education.

Just by coincident, a story was reported by CBC, just a day or two after the Oosterhoff maskless photo incident, about a teacher at a North York school facing charges and a possible fine for not wearing a mask.

Do we conclude from that that there is one standard set for abiding by the province’s COVID safety precautions for members of Ford’s government and another for the rest of us?

As of this posting, I have yet to receive a response from Oosterhoff or his office on whether he might issue a public apology – not a private one – to Betty’s Restaurant in Niagara Falls.

  • Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

To read a news commentary Niagara At Large posted earlier on this issue, click on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2020/10/28/bad-news-calls-for-resignation-continue-to-dog-oosterhoff-following-maskless-photo-shoot/

NIAGARA AT LARGE Encourages You To Join The Conversation By Sharing Your Views On This Post In The Space Following The Bernie Sanders Quote Below.

“A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

5 responses to “Popular Niagara Falls Restaurant Suffering Undue Wrath Over Oosterhoff’s Maskless Photo

  1. Betty’s is a wonderful family restaurant and has been around longer (1967) than Oosterhoff (1997) has been on the planet. What gives him the right to be so flagrant with the rules his own government instituted? What a great role model! Mistake my a$$. The restaurant staff tried to make his party comply. If he can’t follow such a simple rule, rules everyone with a brain cell is following for protection of the public, he has no right to represent anyone! His previous actions also indicate an arrogance and immaturity that disqualify him from any position of power and should deny him any respect from the public. Why did he remove the Facebook photo? Could it be because it revealed he was an arrogant twat? The horse was already out of the barn.

    Why should the restaurant and its owners suffer? It has been an iconic institution in Chippawa as long as I can recall! It takes years of hard work to establish a reputation and only minutes to destroy it…..as if Oosterhoff would know! He needs to make a PUBLIC statement both on TV and in Parliament, apologize to the Miszk family and tell all of his supporters to STOP harassing them and instead support the business. I’m sure he could send out flyers as politicians often do….when in their best interests…. to his constituents (free postage) to tell them it was his fault and to stop threatening people. Such behaviour sounds akin to some in the US who are threatening those who disagree with Trump. They are ignorant bullies.

    The restaurant did nothing wrong and is not to blame. In fact, people should purposely patronize Betty’s in protest to this idiot. They are not the ones who deserve ANY abuse! In a show of solidarity, why doesn’t the Ford cabinet come to Niagara and have a delicious meal at Betty’s….masks mandatory.
    I will certainly continue to support Betty’s and the owners. I’m sorry they are suffering as a result of another person’s stupidity.


  2. Charlee Renee
    He will be forever a Oosterdink and anyone making a “mistake” can now say, “sorry, just pulling an Oosterdink move”….and I sure hope that holds up in court when someone gets a fine for the SAME behaviour!


  3. eidi M. Grzesina
    ANYONE fighting a fine in court will now get away with it based on this case. Way to go Mr. Arrogant Leadership! (and your entire “privileged” entourage).


  4. Haley Bateman
    This guy – cares for no one but himself.


  5. David Hendry
    Maybe he should spend a bit more time reading rather than calling the cops on people with books


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