After the long winter, I am back at Queen’s Park inspired by the stories, advocacy and resilience of my constituents. I am also heavy with the struggles and challenges that many families, seniors, workers and businesses have shared with me and my office staff during this time of COVID-19. Our whole community appreciates the work and the care that we are so desperately relying on during this unimaginable time. To the healthcare workers and caring professionals in hospitals, homes, long-term care facilities and residential supportive homes – we can never measure your care, help and sacrifice to keep us healthy and well.
Each and every day, frontline workers do their jobs and make sacrifices to keep us safe and protected – and often without the resources or equipment they need to stay safe themselves. I continue to appreciate and advocate for all our frontline workers to have what they need – whether to be fairly compensated or to have safety measures in place – to be able to stay well and able to do such invaluable work across our communities. Throughout the pandemic, my office has consistently heard about the unfairness of public sector wage caps for nurses and care workers and the need for workers to have paid sick days. I continue to share their voices and advocate on their behalf.
Community members have been taking the time to complete thoughtful surveys with personal perspectives for me to share at Queen’s Park. It is always my honour to be trusted with family stories from across our neighbourhoods. Children are struggling and their families are without resources to support them. Mental health supports have always been needed – but especially during this time. No one is immune from the pressures and stress we are all facing because of this pandemic. Please continue to share with my office your concerns and ideas to help the province and our community navigate this as well as we can.
To the volunteers providing food and support to seniors and our street-involved and homeless neighbours, and to the mental health workers who do not stop, and to the supportive professionals working in victim services and on the frontlines with vulnerable people – the work you do makes an immeasurable difference and I appreciate you. My staff and I are working hard to support you.
There is much work to be done in both our community, and the province as a whole, to make the road ahead a positive and healthy one. Please connect with my office if you need assistance with a provincial system, or if you would like to voice your thoughts about a provincial issue. Thank you for all the ways you strengthen our community.
Wishing you a safe and healthy Spring.
How my office can help
- Birth Certificates
- Driver’s Licenses
- Family Responsibility Office
- Health Care/OHIPW
- Ontario Works (O)
- Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)
- Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)
- Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB)
- Preparing Legislative Petitions
Contact my office to obtain free of charge:
- Ontario lapel pins (flag, crest, or Trillium)
- Congratulatory scrolls:
- Milestone birthdays
- Wedding anniversaries
- Anniversaries of organizations
- Other special occasions (We can also request special certificates from Ontario’s Premier
Here are some of the ways that my staff and I have helped Oshawa constituents:
- Booked vaccine appointments for seniors with no computer/internet access
- Assisted folks with getting their vaccine certificates
- Helped constituents on ODSP/OW get glasses replaced during the optometric service withdrawal
- Collaborated with local shelters to connect women and their children with safe housing
- Worked with local public health department to help folks navigate changing COVID-19 guidelines
- Helped tenants address apartment pest infestations
- Helped constituents get various forms of ID (birth certificate, driver’s licence, health card, provincial ID card)
Families, children, education workers and students have been struggling with uncertainty during this Pandemic. I recently surveyed the community and heard raw and desperate concern for the mental well-being of children, families and educators - all doing their best during very challenging times. I continue to share the voices of our neighbours at Queen’s Park and advocate for safe and supported schools and mental health investment.
Mainstreet Business Supports
Our community’s mainstreet businesses have been struggling and trying to continue on with so many changes during COVID. They have been calling for direct-support, clarity and better tools to build a path forward. My staff and I have been working alongside local businesses to navigate the Ontario Small Business Support Grants program and to ensure local businesses get the help they need to survive – and one day soon – thrive.
Long-Term Care Accountability
Families and communities have been devastated by loss during COVID-19 – especially the families of seniors in long-term care. Since the beginning, families have shared with me their stories of loss and commitment to improving long-term care for others. I will be introducing Private Member’s legislation to ensure more accountability in Long-Term Care because of these remarkable families and in memory of their loved ones.
Private Member’s Bills
Bill 62 – The Fairness for Road Users Act (Contraventions Causing Death or Serious Bodily Harm) was reintroduced this session to raise penalties for drivers who cause serious injury or death to another road user, if passed. (Formerly Bill 122)
Bill 65 – The Brunt and Kendall Act (Ensuring Safe Firefighter and Trainee Rescue Training) was reintroduced this session. Again, this PMB, if passed, would make legislative changes based on the 2017 Coroner’s Inquest relating to the deaths of Adam Brunt (2015) and Gary Kendall (2010) who died during unregulated rescue training. (Formerly Bill 10)
The Freeing Highways 412 and 418 Act (Toll Highways Amendments) died on the Order Paper when the Legislature was prorogued. I am reintroducing it and it will again come before the Legislature this Spring. I continue to advocate for the removal of unfair tolls in Durham Region, which would alleviate congestion and improve traffic flow and downtown safety, if passed.
Issues facing Seniors – Share your thoughts!
My office hears often from seniors, ageing community members, caregivers and community services. People are struggling during these difficult times with long-term & home care, rising costs, access to healthcare and support for family members.
Please share what life is like for you or a senior that you know in our community. Share your experiences and perspectives, so I can share at Queen’s Park.
1. What are the issues most challenging to seniors in our community?
2. What is needed to make life better for ageing Ontarians and seniors?
3. What message would you share with the provincial government about life as a senior in Ontario?
Thank you so much for your caring input.
Mail responses to:
Jennifer French, MPP Oshawa
78 Centre St. North, Unit 2
Oshawa, ON L1G 4B6
(Please clearly include your full name, return mailing address and phone number.)
Share responses online at: jenniferfrench.ca or email