Newmarket-Aurora MPP Dawn Gallagher Murphy recalled growing up, listening to the sermons of her Anglican priest father, in her first speech to the legislature.
“Watching him care for his parishioners and his most vulnerable community members, the sick, the suffering, the hungry, the homeless,” she said. “I believe that at my core, I knew I wanted to make a positive impact on others … For me, it was how I could help others achieve their goals to be the best possible persons they could be."
The first-time MPP made her inaugural address to the provincial legislature Aug. 10. She spent her remarks reflecting on stepping into the role, highlighting her election team, her predecessor and various businesses and institutions throughout the riding.
She spoke about her love for the community, including its history. She named several businesses and organizations throughout Newmarket in her remarks, including Southlake Regional Health Centre and the Newmarket Food Pantry.
“It has an urban feel with an amazing small-town charm, which propelled my husband and I to settle in this great community,” she said.
She also referenced the importance of bilingualism and her appreciation for her predecessor, Christine Elliott. Gallagher Murphy worked as Elliott’s constituency manager in the last term.
“I believe that my education, life experience, coupled with my 25-plus year private sector career and the past four years working alongside my predecessor, have afforded me and led me to this great opportunity to be standing here in this awesome chamber today."
Several other MPPs asked friendly questions about her speech, such as for details her private career in secure payments and her passion for the French language.
NDP MPP Marit Stiles asked what advice Murphy would offer about serving constituencies, given her experience in a constituency office.
“It is all about customer service. It is all about hearing your constituents, prioritizing their needs and it’s really about getting into the community,” she said.
The MPP also made a member's statement earlier in the day about Emancipation Month, recognizing the abolition of slavery in the British colonies.
“Our goal is to eliminate discrimination by use of educational support systems while continuing to advance the importance of racial equity,” she said.
Just as she did as a young girl, Gallagher Murphy said as an MPP she hopes to help others achieve their goals.
“I am honoured and privileged to realize my dream of serving you and ensuring our community grows stronger.”