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  • Writer's pictureOLIP Interns

MPP Placement: Astrid & MPP Chandra Pasma

For my first OLIP placement, I had the pleasure of working in MPP Chandra Pasma’s office. Elected to represent Ottawa West-Nepean, MPP Pasma is also the NDP Education Critic.  

I was initially eager to be placed in this office because of the education critic file, and MPP Pasma’s experience as a policy researcher prior to her election in 2022. Education is a vast file that overlaps with countless policy topics, including mental health, labor, language rights, childcare, pedagogy, infrastructure, and transportation. In this office, I learned the challenge of trying to address many areas of interest with equal care, knowing that time and resources are spread thin among elected officials. 

I also learned that just as members are drawn a million different ways in their work – keeping on top of appearances, stakeholder meetings, questions from constituents, policy development, and media requests – so are their political staff!  I enjoyed the requirement of being a generalist in MPP Pasma’s office, exercising my communications, event planning, policy analysis skills, and more. During this placement, I had the opportunity to write member statements and questions for Question Period, staff MPP Pasma at events, research future Private Member Bills, prepare press releases and organize press conferences, navigate relationships with stakeholders and create and distribute informational resources. I was so grateful that my office trusted me to try my hand at a huge array of tasks and skills. 

I also had the opportunity to visit Ottawa West-Nepean. I enjoyed touring the riding, noting the diversity of single-family owned homes, rental units, seniors’ homes, and community housing, and learning more about specific challenges facing the community, such as recent devastating storms. During my visit, I found working on the customer facing, community-oriented side of the office thoroughly rewarding. I had a wonderful time learning about constituents’ interests and concerns, answering their questions about the work of the government, and helping them navigate services like ODSB, tenant-landlord relationships, and labor disputes.  

I’d like to extend my sincerest thanks to MPP Chandra Pasma, and her Legislative Assistant Samantha, Executive Assistant Darren, and Constituency Assistant Haniel, for sharing their time, insights, and guidance with me during this placement! 

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