Joel Harden MPP / Député, Ottawa Centre

Government of Ontario


MPP Update 125: "Where do you steal your toilet paper?" (reflections about life on social assistance)

Last week, I wrote about an appeal to double social assistance rates. The appeal came from five MPPs (myself included) who pledged to live on a $47 food budget for two weeks. Why? We need a basic i... More

Mpp Update 124: We need a basic income in Ontario

This week I joined four other MPPs in living on $47 per week for food. We started on September 6, and our action ends on September 20. This is what the Premier Mike Harris said was adequate for soc... More

MPP Update 123: If people resist, Bill 7 can be stopped

Labour Day long weekend is here.  In practical terms, it’s a time when people take stock of the Summer, and think of the weeks and months to come.  For many, that means getting kids ready for back-... More

MPP Update 122: Why I’m marching for Capital Pride

As I said in the Legislature this week, happy Capital Pride 2022!  This week Ottawa celebrates and values 2SGLBTQi+ neighbours. There are terrific events, art installations, and performances to att... More

MPP Update 121: A note from Newfoundland

I’m writing you these words from St. John’s, Newfoundland.  It's a foggy morning, but Frank, a local guide I met here, thinks that description is “fake news”. It’s an adjective for cynics who can’t... More

MPP Update 120: Can We Do Politics Differently?

As I took Ottawa Centre’s seat in the Ontario Legislature this week, the scene was intense. Ontario’s 43rd Parliament had no shortage of drama. The week began with the election of the Speaker, a pr... More

MPP Update 119: The Politics of Ice Cream

In Ottawa Centre, we love our ice cream. More specifically, we love the many local ice cream businesses that offer delicious tastes and flavours.   That’s why it was a shock to see The Merry Dairy ... More

MPP update 118: A Note From The Woods

I’m writing from Site 2B at Parc Régional Poisson Blanc, about a 90 minute journey from Ottawa Centre. I’m here on my own for two nights of canoe camping.  The south-facing view here is stunning:  ... More

MPP Update #117: How do we end gender-based violence?

* Warning: this week’s column is about gender-based violence (GBV). Help is available if you or someone you know is at risk. Contact the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Ottawa for 24/7 confidentia... More

MPP Update #116: What's wrong with free transit?

This week our Mayor opposed a study into free transit that city council requested in April 2022. This sentiment was quickly amplified by two mayoral candidates insisting “we can’t afford to make tr... More