Joel Harden’s record at Queen’s Park
Over the past four years, Joel has given Ottawa Centre a strong voice at Queen’s Park. He has consistently amplified the stories of people facing inequity and hardship in the Ontario legislature, and has worked for concrete change that improves the lives of people in Ottawa Centre and beyond.
Joel’s track record includes:
Protections for seniors
- Joel sponsored a motion called “Voula’s Law,” calling on the Ford government to give clear direction to long-term care providers that they cannot use trespass orders against family members who have raised concerns about their loved ones’ living conditions. The motion was named after a 98 year old Ottawa woman who was forbidden from seeing her daughter for more than 300 days in a row. Joel worked with Voula’s daughter, Maria, while creating this motion, which passed unanimously in the legislature.
Action on housing
- Joel co-sponsored the Rent Stabilization Act that would create a public rent registry, so tenants can see what a former tenant paid in rent; provide access to legal aid for tenants that want to contest an illegal rent hike; and provide stronger enforcement and tougher penalties for landlords who do not properly maintain a renters’ home.
Paid sick days
- Joel knows that it’s unacceptable that our province lacks paid sick days, especially during a pandemic, so he tabled a motion for a provincial paid sick days program accessible to everyone in Ontario.
Support for people with disabilities
- Joel tabled a motion to reform the Assistive Devices Program (ADP) to better meet the needs of people with disabilities, including by mandating, funding, and enforcing timely access to assistive devices, and repairs to assistive devices.
Action on Ottawa’s LRT
- After months of stoppages and collisions, Joel demanded better for Ottawa residents by relentlessly calling for action from the provincial government on the LRT, until they finally caved and announced a public inquiry into Ottawa’s beleaguered LRT.
Accountability in politics
- Joel tabled a motion in December 2020 on municipal misconduct to give municipal councils the ability to institute measures to remove members of council who have been found guilty of serious acts of misconduct.
How Joel and the Ontario NDP will put people first
Affordability and housing
- We have witnessed the impacts of rising costs and skyrocketing rents in Ottawa Centre and are committed to do better for our communities. This includes:
- Implementing a $20 minimum wage
- Increasing Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) rates
- Bringing back real rent control for all units (where you'll pay what the last tenant paid)
- Scraping vacancy decontrol, to stop landlords kicking tenants out in order to raise the rent on the unit
- We’ll scrap Bill 124 in order to give public service workers a raise.
- The Ontario NDP has released their plan for affordable housing, which you can read here.
Bold climate action and the Green New Democratic Deal:
Joel and the Ontario NDP are committed to bold action on the climate crisis. We believe in the Green New Democratic Deal and will continue to defend nature and demand better active transport and energy retrofitting opportunities in Ottawa Centre.
- The Ontario NDP have a plan for bold climate action called the Green New Democratic Deal, which commits to a strategy that will reduce pollution, create jobs, and support our communities. Joel has launched his local environmental priorities, which you can read here.
- Ensuring that buildings are net-zero emissions by 2030, alongside a world-leading building retrofit program
- A plan to make Ontario net-zero by 2050 and create 100,000 permanent jobs with an ambitious building retrofit program, and as many as one million total jobs throughout the life of the deal
- Ontario’s first zero-emissions vehicle strategy, ramping up electric vehicle sales to hit a 100 per cent target by 2035
- Electrifying all municipal transit by 2040
- Giving $600 to households to install electric vehicle charging stations at home, and requiring new homes to have vehicle charging capacity
- Establishing Ontario’s first Youth Climate Corps
- Restoring the powers of the Environment Commissioner
- Planting one billion trees by 2030
- The Covid-19 pandemic has shined a spotlight on this crisis in our education system. Years of funding freezes and education cuts have led to big classrooms, poor relationships with teachers and underfunded infrastructure. An Ontario NDP government will reinvest in our public education system and ensure that every student in Ontario receives a quality education.
- We will reverse Ford’s cuts, and will invest to help students get back on their feet academically, emotionally, and psychologically after a tough few years.
- We'll hire 20,000 Teachers and Education Workers, and will invest in in-school remedial learning programs to help students recover after two years of learning disruptions.
- We'll ensure that students will have access to french learning close to home.
Health and long-term care
An NDP government is going to put your health first, by bringing in universal mental health care, the first real pharmacare program in Canada, make birth control free, expand the incoming federal dental care plan and more.
We’re going to take profits out of long-term care and home care. An NDP government will immediately begin building 50,000 new and modern long-term care beds.
- We will take immediate action to begin hiring 30,000 nurses, so nurses at the Ottawa Hospital don’t have to keep working in a crisis mode.
- We'll give more funding for nurse practitioner-led clinics and expand community health centres, so the community care model of healthcare that is doing excellent work in Ottawa Centre can expand and serve many more of our neighbours currently suffering without a family doctor.
- During the pandemic, Joel and the Ontario NDP have demanded paid sick days – 24 times to be exact – while the Ford government said no every time. An Ontario NDP government will adopt paid sick days, stand up for healthcare workers, and support small businesses facing the pressure of pandemic restrictions. We will also ensure that nurses, educators, and other frontline workers are paid fairly for their work.
Ending police violence
- The Ontario NDP has a plan to address police violence and invest in protecting Black, Indigenous, and racialized communities. Here is the plan, which includes expanding police oversight and ending carding.
- We commit to First Nations, Inuit and Metis people across Turtle Island and the people of Ottawa Centre, to collaborate and work alongside Indigenous peoples in the spirit of decolonization and advancing the priorities of Indigenous communities. This includes clean drinking water, proper housing infrastructure, addressing the mental health crisis amongst Indigenous youth, and advancing the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls report.