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  • Writer's pictureOLIP Interns

MPP Placement: Kaitlin & MPP Laura Smith

For my first placement, I had the pleasure of working with MPP Laura Smith of Thornhill, the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Thornhill is a suburban riding just north of Toronto in the Vaughan region. I enjoyed the fast pace of her office, as most days were filled with a combination of legislative work, her Parliamentary Assistant portfolio, and events in Thornhill in the evenings. I had the opportunity to draft many speeches, briefing notes, and conduct research for her Private Members Bills. I thoroughly enjoyed engaging in the various stages of each of MPP Smith’s PMBs, from legislative drafting to producing communication materials for outreach. Something that stood out to me during this placement was the unique challenge that MPPs representing GTA ridings face; they have an especially demanding schedule during sitting weeks as they must balance being at Queen’s Park while also being present in their community at the same time. 

I also worked on MPP Smith’s PA portfolio and gained much insight in stakeholder meetings with various heritage, sporting and arts organizations and non-profits. I learned of the many challenges this sector has faced as it recovers from the pandemic. As Tourism, Culture and Sport is the “fun” ministry, I enjoyed attending lively events with MPP Smith such as an art exhibit launch, a tourism conference, and a gala for librarians. While MPP Smith may represent Thornhill, I was able to see more of Ontario by joining her in Aurora for an intergovernmental funding announcement and in Lindsay for one of her PMB’s “Destigmatizing Dementia” events. 


I also had the pleasure of visiting MPP Smith’s riding of Thornhill plenty of times throughout the constituency weeks. I enjoyed meeting with constituents in the office, visiting many businesses and non-profits, and partaking in several community events, such as a senior’s Christmas party, a community dinner at a synagogue, and several Hannukah celebrations. MPP Smith and her office did a phenomenal job showing me the riding, including indulging me in a few delicious Thornhill bakeries along the way! 

Thank you to MPP Smith, and staff, Daniela, Sheldon, and Delia and Chelsea, for their warm welcome and guidance, and for providing such a well-rounded and enriching government experience! 

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