When Natalie Pierre launched her campaign in 2022 to represent the residents of Burlington at Queen’s Park, she declared the two things she is most passionate about are people and education. Natalie Pierre assumed the position of member of provincial parliament for Burlington with years of experience as a human resources and finance professional who led hiring and recruitment at Sheridan College.
MPP Pierre’s work on mental health issues began as a private citizen. She is a mom who is driven to prevent tragedies and save lives by providing students with mental health education, including healthy coping and stress management strategies. As a mentor and coach, MPP Pierre has worked with high school, college, and university students to help them overcome challenges they may face in the workforce. That experience made her the perfect choice to be the Parliamentary Assistant to Ontario’s Minister of Colleges and Universities.
Investments in mental health supports
MPP Pierre has worked tirelessly with all levels of government to advocate for improved mental health supports. MPP Pierre says, “The mental health and well-being of students continues to be a priority for me. In May, I introduced a motion to strengthen mental health learning and supports in the classroom. We know that students who receive appropriate supports have better academic success.”
MPP Pierre worked with Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce to introduce mandatory learning on mental health for students in grades 7 and 8, which will be included in the health and physical education curriculum starting in January. In September, mental health education will be included in the civics and careers course in grade 10. MPP Pierre says, “We’re going to provide our students with the skills and tools they need to navigate life’s challenges. These issues have always existed, and the pandemic shone a spotlight on some of the mental health struggles and challenges faced by people of all ages.”
Along with the Minister of Education, MPP Pierre also announced an additional $12 million this year and $14 million next year to provide mental health services to students over the summer months, making mental health services available to students year-round. In her role as P.A. for the Minister of Colleges and Universities, MPP Pierre has toured post-secondary institutions, including Indigenous institutions across the province to talk to students about their mental health needs and what the government can do to better support and promote student success.
Investments in health care
Supporting Joseph Brant Hospital is a top priority for Natalie Pierre. She says, “As a government we funded additional hours for CT scans and MRIs at Joseph Brant hospital. We have also invested more than $530,000 this year to support critical upgrades and repairs at Joseph Brant and community health facilities in Burlington. The investment in Burlington will ensure that Joseph Brant Hospital has support to maintain hospital facilities and infrastructure while continuing to provide quality health care.” The government has also increased the permanent base funding for 8 additional beds at Joseph Brant.
The Ontario government has lowered the age of mammogram screening from 50 to 40. MPP Pierre stresses, “That’s good news for women across the province. We know that breast cancers diagnosed at a younger age tend to be more aggressive and that earlier diagnosis leads to earlier treatment and better health outcomes for women.”
As parliamentary assistant, Natalie Pierre has been working with the Minister of Colleges and Universities to shore up healthcare human resources by opening a new medical school at Toronto Metropolitan University in 2025. The government has increased the number of undergraduate and post-graduate seats at six other medical schools in Ontario. MPP Pierre say, “We’re looking at training more doctors. Through the “Learn & Stay” grant we’re offering free tuition, books, and expenses to nursing students who agree to work in underserviced areas.” MPP Pierre is working on various initiatives to shore up healthcare human resources that also include training more paramedics, lab technicians, nurses, doctors, and personal support workers.
Investments in long-term care
Last month, MPP Pierre, along with the Minister of Long-term Care announced the construction of a new building and the addition of 256 long-term care beds at Maple Villa Long-Term Care Centre in Burlington. It’s one of 67 long-term care projects that are being fast-tracked this year as part of the government’s commitment to build more than 58,000 new and upgraded long-term care beds across the province.
MPP Natalie Pierre knows that such significant investments in education, health care, mental health, and long-term care would not be possible without a healthy economy. She is committed to helping businesses access the skilled workers they need. She is committed to helping residents access affordable housing. She is committed to ensuring that Burlington is a community where residents and businesses can thrive.
Contact MPP Natalie Pierre at [email protected] Burlington constituency office, (905) 639-7924 or visit: