I hope you are enjoying your summer. 

I would like to begin this column with a special testimony following the passing of Gisèle Lalonde on July 27, 2022. Gisèle Lalonde was a force to be reckon with in the defense of the Franco-Ontarian rights for the Francophone and Francophile community of Ottawa. Her leadership and fierce advocacy for francophone education in Ontario has made a mark in our community of Orléans, with her lasting legacy with the École secondaire publique Gisèle-Lalonde bearing her name. Due to her unwavering dedication for French language and her leadership in the protection of the Montfort Hospital, our community of Orléans and Ottawa are stronger, and we shall remember the teachings of Gisèle Lalonde as we move forward. 

As summer comes to an end, so too does the Summer Leadership Program. This year, I had the pleasure to welcome two highly talented university students to my constituency and hill offices. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Nodin Nganji and Jelila Ghogomu for their hard work and commitment for the past months. Moreover, I want to welcome a new member to our team, Maya Shamsie-MacMillan. Maya joins our team as a new caseworker, and she is eager and ready to work alongside my team in helping the residents of Orléans.  

MPP Stephen Blais and myself have the privilege of having a youth council and we are very proud of their initiative and their generational insight on the pressing issues that they face. As such, the Orléans Youth council will be joining us at our respective booths to collect non-perishable foods and funds for the Orléans-Cumberland Community Resource Centre’s food bank at the Greater Avalon Community Association’s Annual BBQ that will take place on August 27th, 2022, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Aquaview Park. Thank you in advance for your generosity!  

Sunday August 28 also marks the Capital Pride Parade that will take place in Centretown from 1:00 PM to 4:00PM. I will be marching in solidarity with my colleagues and encourage everyone to join me in celebrating, advocating, educating, and connecting with the 2SLGBTQ+ community. 

Lastly, I want to remind all Orléans residents that the annual Corn Roast and BBQ is happening on August 25 from 5:00PM to 8:30PM at Petrie Island. Please join MPP Stephane Blais and myself in outdoor and family activities, and of course, some good local corn and BBQ! We look forward to seeing you there.