Joel Harden MPP / Député, Ottawa Centre

Government of Ontario

June Newsletter

Our city has that familiar smell of blooming lilacs and smoking outdoor barbeques. Summer is upon us, and Doug Ford has given us plenty to discuss. 

Cuts to education, health care, child care, but six-figure payouts for Tory insiders like Gavin Tighe, Cameron Montgomery, Rueben Devlin, Alykhan Velshi, and Jenni Byrne. 

Cuts to legal aid, cut to supports for seniors and people with disabilities, but a $1000 per day contract for a Beer Store consultant, and rules to allow for tailgate parties at 9 am.

An industry-led plan for climate change, and canceling government contracts with impunity.   

Doug Ford thinks he owns Ontario, and he’s taken us from bad to worse. He just called a five-month recess to live in the bubble that surrounds his office, but we won’t let that happen. 

We’re asking Ontarians to visit Tory MPP events this summer and to remind them about what matters most: our environment, our public services, and an equal opportunity society for all.  

We owe this to the seniors who built this province, and our kids who deserve a hopeful future.

Check in with us at to find out about events taking place this summer. I wish you and your family a safe and happy summer. 

My very best,

Our Accessibility Motion

We are on a deadline to become a fully accessible province by 2025, and David Onley’s third review of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) makes it clear that we are nowhere near meeting this requirement.

On May 30, the legislature debated our motion calling on the government to release a plan of action on accessibility in response to Onley’s review that includes a commitment to new standards for the built environment, stronger enforcement of the AODA, accessibility training for design professionals, and an assurance that public money is never again used to create new barriers.

Accessibility is a non-partisan issue. We hoped that government caucus members would recognize this and support our motion. Instead, they bemoaned how removing barriers preventing 1.9 million Ontarians with disabilities from leading their fullest lives will lead to more “red tape” and “confusion”.

People with disabilities are not red tape, and they deserve justice. We are not going to stop pushing this government to meet its legal obligations in making Ontario a barrier-free province. 

Education Town Hall

Our education town hall a few weeks ago was a packed room of concerned parents, education workers, teachers and students who are all worried and in the dark about what the government’s cuts to education mean. 

We heard from teachers who are already managing large classes and concerned about even larger classes come this September. We heard from education workers working with children with autism on how the cuts to autism combined with cuts to education will have disastrous results for students. We heard from high school students who are worried about the online classes they will now be mandated to take, and we heard from school board trustees who took the opportunity to listen and learn from the room on their concerns to take back to the board. 

Thank you to everyone who came and shared their powerful stories. We will be preparing a report to summarize the conversation, please stay tuned for that. 

Senior's Town Hall

Our next town hall will be on Seniors’ issues on Friday, August 16th at 1 PM at The Good Companions Seniors’ Centre. We will be discussing how we can build an age-friendly province and city, and addressing social isolation among other topics. Special guests will be announced closer to the date. 

Register for the town hall below. 

Last week a few parents organized a conversation with their neighbors and kids to chat about what the cuts to education, health care, and many other things mean for our province. Joel was happy to attend and chat with everyone. 

If you would like to organize a living room discussion, get in touch with us