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Burlington MPP Pierre talks housing issues, education, health

Burlington MPP holds annual meet and greet to hear from residents

The weather outside was cold, but the coffee, tea and hot chocolate kept everyone warm at Natalie Pierre’s annual Meet and Greet open house yesterday (Jan. 21) at Burlington Public Library’s central branch.

The Burlington MPP held the session to allow citizens from across the community to share their

thoughts, ideas and even criticisms around the provincial government. Pierre wanted to know what was on their minds so that she could take those thoughts back to Queen’s Park.

Pierre, who had never run in any government election before, was first chosen to represent the Burlington riding in 2022 and admits to a steep learning curve.

“I’ve lived here for about 35 years. I expected that I knew about a lot of my community but I have learned and continue to learn (about the people and events in Burlington) every single day,” said Pierre.

When asked what she was hearing from the public at her event, Pierre stated, “Some of the concerns I’ve heard today were housing, lack of rental housing stock, (housing) prices. I’ve heard from people about colleges and universities. And also some questions about healthcare.”

In a few remarks, Pierre touched on those topics and more outlining what the provincial government is doing to solve some of the issues Ontario faces as it moves on from the pandemic years.

Pierre is also the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Colleges and Universities, Jill Dunlop, and has travelled extensively around the province. She noted the province’s expansion of the veterinary medicine program at Lakehead University (Thunder Bay, Orillia) in collaboration with the University of Guelph.

“On the skilled trades front, we’re introducing technical credits back into the high school curriculum so students will have to take a tech credit in Grade 9 or 10. We’re also partnering with colleges, universities, and trade unions, to promote a career in skilled trades,” Pierre said.

When asked about the issue that seems to dominate recent headlines – the dilemma of immigration, housing and international students, Pierre responded, “the federal government is actually responsible for issuing student visas. Colleges and universities each individually make independent decisions on making offerings of admissions to international students. We know that Ontarians as a whole benefit when we have a blend of domestic and international students. We have a world-class education system. No wonder we attract the best and brightest minds from around the world.”

Pierre concluded the interview with BurlingtonToday and said, “Understanding the community, hosting events like this where people feel comfortable coming forward having those conversations, and figuring out what we can do as a government to improve the quality of life for not only people in Burlington but people across the province, is why I’m here.”



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Lawson Hunter

About the Author: Lawson Hunter

Lawson Hunter has been a freelance writer for more than 30 years. His articles on technology, the environment, and business have been published in local and national newspapers, magazines and trade publications
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