By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express
Oshawa’s MPP Jennifer French has a message for residents: stay home, stay safe, “we’re all in this together.”
As her office is closed to the public, French wants to let everyone know she is still available for phone calls, as her and her staff may be social distancing, but they are still hard at work.
The NDP representative says she’s been connected with community organizations and different levels of government despite the current pandemic, and she appreciates how, despite the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone has been working together to make sure up-to-date information is available.
“There has been a lot of sharing, of understanding, and trying to connect constituents with different organizations, with proper answers for clarification with all of these new programs and new announcements,” she says.
At the provincial level, French explains she was one of the 28 MPPs who were able to be at the legislature when Bill 188, the Economic and Fiscal Update Act, was passed.
“The government said it was a first step. It was frustrating to see that many of the direct supports we were hoping for workers, families, and small and medium-sized businesses… were not in this bill, but we continue to do the work with the government, and with our communities to ensure that the government has a clear understanding of what people are worried about and [what they need],” says French.
She believes Oshawa is up to the challenge of fighting COVID-19, but there is still a lot of work to do, and there is one group in particular for which French expresses her appreciation.
“I want to echo what everyone across the community has been saying, and that is that we are so appreciative of our healthcare workers, the frontline workers, those who are ensuring that we stay safe, protected, healthy and fed,” she says. “The work and commitment of the frontline folks has been tireless and unwavering and I know that our neighbours and community members are desperate to show them their appreciation.”
French says this is a very challenging situation, and it is going to take everyone to come out the other side. But she believes Oshawa has been able to shine through.
“There has been a spirit in our community that has had a chance to shine, and will continue to shine as there have been so many examples thus far of caring, compassion and creative ways of supporting our neighbours and most vulnerable.”