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Historical Feature- 1986-87 OLIP Interns

Updated: Jan 23, 2021

The year was 1986 and Liberal leader David Peterson had been Premier for just a year. Eight eager interns were beginning their journey as the tenth Ontario Legislature Internship Programme cohort. The young, bright and motivated individuals were Jennifer Cole, Janet Edwards, Susan Forestell, David Harvey, Gayle Lewis, Sine Mackinnon, Stan Szulc and Carolyn Thomson. In true Queen’s Park fashion, introductions were short and the interns were immediately immersed in the work of Ontario politics. Mr. David Harvey recalls working for opposition member Mike Harris, who would go on to become Premier. Mr. Harvey recalls that within three weeks of being at the legislature, he was responsible for organizing the Conservative’s question period lineup. Mr. Harvey learned – as all interns after him would realize – that things at Queen’s Park move quickly and it is up to you to keep up.

That’s not to say that there’s no fun to be had. Mr. Harvey recounts that within his first week of being placed with government member David Ramsay, of the Northern riding of Timiskaming-Cochrane, he went to Moose Factory to open an arena. There, he welcomed an Elder, and despite the language barrier, they shared many laughs. Moreover, Mr. Harvey recalls being the only passenger on the return flight home. He thought: “I just graduated university and now I’m being taxied home from James Bay in my own private plane. That’s pretty cool.”

For Mr. Harvey, the ten months went by in a flash. When asked what’s one piece of advice he’d give to future interns, Mr. Harvey said to “say yes to absolutely everything,” whether that be meetings, trips, or other such experiences. He reminds us that we “...have the opportunity to be exposed to so many wide and diverse experiences and people,” but it is our responsibility to make the most of the Programme. Learning about the tenth cohort’s time at the legislature was both fun and informative. It makes me excited for the next couple of months that lie ahead for the 45th cohort. And like Mr. Harvey suggests, I hope to seize all of it!

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