Departing Des Rosiers worries about Sandy Hill

Sally Southey

Photo Constituency Office

Our representative at Queen’s Park since 2016, Nathalie Des Rosiers is moving to Toronto this summer to be Principal of Massey College at the University of Toronto.  Her predecessors in that role include former senator Hugh Segal, journalist John Fraser and novelist Robertson Davies.

Ottawa Vanier’s outgoing MPP, Nathalie Des Rosiers, is worried that, “the beauty of Sandy Hill may be sacrificed to developers’ dreams,” with the provincial Conservatives reverting to the old Ontario Municipal Board rules for the Land Planning Appeals Tribunal, and changes to the Heritage Act. She is “very angry at Doug Ford’s mischievous work,” giving developers back the ability to influence local planning.

Ms Des Rosiers begins her new job as Principal of Massey College at the University of Toronto in September. Due to personal health issues, she had decided that she could not run again as a politician. She feels very strongly that Canada needs bold new ideas to combat climate change and to narrow the gap between the rich and poor. Massey College is known as an incubator of ideas. She feels she will be able to contribute on these key issues, without having to travel constantly.

She regrets not staying longer, to complete community work she began, such as securing stable funding for the Sandy Hill Homework Club. This Club seeks greater access to interns and apprentices to help some 30 students. She was also committed to resolving the traffic issues on King Edward Avenue, and regrets being unable to work on that issue.

During her time at Queen’s Park, Ms Des Rosiers introduced nine private member’s bills. One which passed ensures that bilingual services in Ottawa cannot be reduced. Those dealing with modernizing the Human Rights Code to recognize genetic discrimination, to limit the use of the Notwithstanding Clause and to eventually eliminate solitary confinement in Ontario are still pending.

Among the many achievements from her days as an MPP, she is most proud of her work to ensure that people – such as those who have been denied OHIP, or benefits under Ontario Works, or the Disability Support Program, or whose diplomas are not recognized – get the services they deserve.

Ms Des Rosiers was first elected in a by-election in November 2016 and re-elected in June 2018. She moved to Ottawa in 2000 to be President of the Law Commission of Canada. She lives in Sandy Hill and hopes that her successor will “fall in love with Ottawa-Vanier as I did.”