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2nd MPP Placement: Rhea x MPP Nolan Quinn

I had the honour of completing my second placement with MPP Nolan Quinn, who represents the riding of Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry (always quite the tongue twister!). As one of the most Eastern ridings in Ontario, SDG shares a border with both Quebec and New York State and includes the City of Cornwall as its main regional hub. I learnt a great deal about the long and rich history of the region from MPP Quinn, who shared many stories complemented by images, maps, and other historical memorabilia that line the walls of his office, a reflection of his and his families deep ties to the community.  In addition to the history, I found it fascinating to learn about the importance of balancing the needs of both the rural and more urban regions of the riding, and ensuring that one is not overrepresented. 

During my placement, I also gained a deep appreciation for MPP Quinn and his team’s ability to quickly adapt and always being open to a challenge. When I first began, MPP Quinn was serving as the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Children, Community, and Social Services, though he soon transitioned to the role of Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister Health, where he remained for the bulk of my placement. On the very last sitting day of the placement, however, MPP Quinn was appointed to the role of Associate Minister of Forestry, and it was quite special to be able to share that moment with him and his family, and to see his hard work pay off!  

My time in the office largely coincided with MPP Quinn’s time as the PA to Health, and I found it incredibly enriching to be able to follow the health file across my two placements, allowing me to develop a deeper understanding of the complexity of the largest Ministry in the Province. I helped prepare briefs, crafting social media posts, and assisting with stakeholder meetings, all while developing a deeper understanding of health policy and the politics surrounding it. Some of my longer-term projects included organizing classroom visits across the riding during constituency weeks that aimed to spark an interest in democracy in students, and supporting the planning and execution of the Inaugural Father's Day at the Park reception, focused on addressing the stigma around men’s mental health. 

I want to extend a huge thank you to MPP Quinn and his entire team for being incredibly warm and supportive throughout my time in the office! 

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