Oshawa MPP returning to deputy speaker position

Oshawa MPP Jennifer French is again being appointed as a deputy speaker in the Ontario Legislature.

French, an NDP member, served in the role in the last legislature, which ran from 2018 to 2022. Joining her as deputy speakers are fellow NDP members: Jill Andrew, MPP for Toronto-St. Paul’s; and Bhutila Karpoche, MPP for Parkdale-High Park. Andrew’s appointment is the first time a Black woman has been appointed a deputy speaker, while Karpoche is the first person of Tibetan descent in the role.

Under the rules in the Ontario Legislature, the Official Opposition, in this case, the NDP, selects three deputy speakers to fill in when the speaker isn’t available.

Interim NDP leader Peter Tabuns praised the party’s house leader Peggy Sattler for choosing the deputy speakers. “Peggy and the NDP are pleased to put forward such a capable group of women as Jill, Jennifer and Bhutila for appointments as deputy speakers in Ontario’s legislature,” Tabuns said in a statement. “We are also excited at the prospect of making history in Ontario by appointing the first Black woman and the first person of Tibetan descent to the post of deputy speaker.”

On Wednesday, July 13, Tabuns released a list of critics, with French appointed as the critic for transportation, highways and infrastructure.

The newly elected government hasn’t announced a date for when the legislature returns.

Looking forward to continuing to serve the province as the Official Opposition Critic for #infrastructure, #Transportation & highways. @OntarioNDP pic.twitter.com/0sWsypYh9d.

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