Former Ontario medical officer Matt Strauss will be the next Conservative candidate for Kitchener–South Hespeler.

Strauss confirmed his nomination on X, writing, “Thank you to the Conservatives from my hometown, Kitchener South—Hespeler for making me their candidate in the next election!”

Strauss came under fire during the Covid-19 pandemic for his opposition to lockdowns and vaccine mandates, a controversy he addressed in the same post.

“I think for many of us, there were dark times during the pandemic where it felt like we were speaking up for freedom and common sense alone. Not anymore! We are united! In the riding and across the country, we are standing up for freedom and common sense together now,” reads the post on X.  

Strauss, a physician, had served as Haldimand-Norfolk’s acting medical officer of health throughout the majority of the pandemic. He criticized the broad nature of restrictive public health measures during that time and advocated for a more “individualized” approach.

“I am pro-vaccine and anti-mandate. I am pro-public health and anti-lockdown,” wrote Strauss in February 2022, at a time when the unvaccinated remained banned from air travel, trains, restaurants and many other public places. 

“I don’t think ivermectin works, but I don’t mind if you want to talk about it. This is called liberalism and it was the dominant political philosophy in Canada until March 2020.”

When Strauss was appointed as acting medical officer of health in 2021, he was met with harsh criticisms over his views on lockdowns and other mandates, with some even calling for his appointment to be rescinded.

Strauss responded by writing, “I welcome conversation and fair criticism of these science-based views,” he wrote at the time. “Such discourse is part of the scientific process. The politicization of my appointment and ad hominem attacks against me, conversely, are not. In fact, such attempts are themselves anti-scientific. Science is not a popularity contest, nor is it an agglomeration of credentialed opinions.”

He also served on the medical faculty of Queen’s University before they allegedly pushed him out of his position through a number of “malicious, aggressive, condescending and defamatory statements.” Strauss has since filed a lawsuit against the university. “I’m going to do my very best to personally thank each of the hundreds of Conservatives in KSH who came to cast ballots yesterday. I never want to let any one of you down,” posted Strauss to X, following his nomination.