Sam Oosterhoff’s swearing in is delayed
PC leader Patrick Brown says his Ontario’s youngest MPP is planning a big celebration.
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The law school dean showed up for work Monday morning — but the Niagara teen did not.
Newly elected MPP Nathalie Des Rosiers was sworn in and introduced in the legislature, while Sam Oosterhoff was still planning his swearing-in celebration.
“I am really happy to be here myself, and I don’t really know what is the delay for him,” Des Rosiers said in response to reporters’ questions after attending her first Question Period.
Her mother, one of her children and a couple of friends attending her swearing-in ceremony, and she said it was a good first day for her given MPPs were wearing purple scarves to help raise awareness for abuse against women, a cause that is one of her personal priorities.
Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown said Oosterhoff, who at 19 is the youngest MPP ever in the province, is in the middle of making arrangements to have a large gathering when he takes the oath of office.
“It’s a special occasion to have a celebration of a 19-year-old, it’s making history, and so Sam is planning a much larger swearing-in ceremony,” he said. “I understand it will be very soon.”
Brown’s office had previously told Torstar News Service that Oosterhoff would be sworn in on Monday.
When asked if the socially conservative Oosterhoff is trying to avoid voting on Bill 28, legislation that makes it easier for gay and lesbian parents to have children, Brown said “I think he’s trying to organize a celebration, but you could ask Sam that.”
It is expected to be voted on Tuesday.
“I’ve made my position clear on Bill 28,” Brown also said. “I support Bill 28 and I’ve said our caucus is going to support Bill 28.”
Torstar attempted to reach Oosterhoff via email, but he did not respond.
Oosterhoff’s Niagara West-Glanbrook riding “is close enough that he can bring friends and supporters” as have other MPPs who live in ridings close to Toronto following byelection wins, Brown added, citing Raymond Cho’s recent victory in Scarborough-Rouge River and Lorne Coe in Whitby-Oshawa, where 100 or more people attended.
When asked by reporters if Oosterhoff would be bringing a “party bus” full of people to Queen’s Park, Brown said “I don’t know if there’s party buses but I’m sure there will be lots of friends and family and supporters who want to be here to see a piece of history, which is a 19-year-old being sworn in.”
Privately, Liberal MPPs scoffed at Oosterhoff’s absence, given he and Des Rosiers were both elected Nov. 17.
Oosterhoff, who succeeded retired former PC leader Tim Hudak, is a first-year student at Brock University. The teen, a home-schooled social conservative, took the nomination in the riding thanks to the backing of members of his strict reform church.
Des Rosiers is a dean at the University of Ottawa law school, and a well-regarded civil liberties lawyer. She replaced former attorney general Madeleine Meilleur.
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