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  • Writer's pictureOLIP Interns

MPP Placement: Razan & MPP Doly Begum

In my first placement, I was lucky enough to be MPP Doly Begum’s first OLIP intern! MPP Begum represents Scarborough Southwest, is the deputy leader of the NDP, and the critic for Immigration Services and International Credentials.  

I had an enriching experience writing remarks, Member’s Statements and questions for Question Period, planning the SSW Career Fair, responding to constituent emails, attending stakeholder meetings, drafting social media posts, and working on the biweekly newsletter – the Begum Bulletin!   

Much of my tasks in MPP Begum’s office were informed by issues related to her critic file, allowing me to gain deeper insight into what she and her team deal with regularly. I was very excited to contribute and provide a helping hand because of my previous experience working with refugee students and newcomers to Canada! In reality, my work background did not even measure up to the variety of nuanced issues that MPP Begum undertook daily – marking my favourite part of the OLIP experience: you never know what you will learn on the job!  

I was able to visit MPP Begum’s riding several times throughout the non-sitting weeks in the legislature, where I learned more about Scarborough Southwest, including the vibrant Bangladeshi community there. Of Bangladeshi heritage herself, MPP Begum takes great care to ensure Bangladeshi voices are well represented at Queen’s Park. During my placement, I learned about the significance of International Mother Language Day – a day celebrating linguistic and cultural diversity to commemorate the sacrifices made by students in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 1952, where they protested for their right to speak in their mother tongue, Bangla. I also saw how MPP Begum reflected the values important to the Bangladeshi community, ingrained in them from the history behind Bangladeshi Independence Day, in how she advocated for other racialized communities and tirelessly for her constituents. It was a very rewarding experience, and I was very grateful to be given the opportunity to help uplift these voices through my work in MPP Begum’s office.   

One of my main takeaways from my placement is how passionate and dedicated MPP Begum was to serving the people of Scarborough Southwest and the people of Ontario. Her office had a policy of not turning anyone away and helping anyone that walked through their doors. I am very grateful to have been a part of Team SSW. A huge thank you to MPP Begum and the entire team – Ishra, Zach, Krystyna, Fayzul and Tien – for taking me under their wing!  

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