For my Office of the Legislative Assembly Branch placement, I worked with House Publications and Language Services (HPLS). This branch was once multiple departments before a recent change that amalgamated them – Hansard, House Documents, and Language Services.
I was fortunate in this placement to gain an understanding of the editing, production and publishing processes of Hansard and other House documents. From my work, I learned that recording House business through these documents is necessary for Parliament’s operation and for conducting House business. I was able to analyze the Journals of the 42nd Parliament by identifying motions passed regulating how the COVID-19 pandemic would affect the conduct of House business. Not only did this help me learn the importance of identifying precedent, but also that these documents are integral for policy and research purposes; for example, to help MPPs, stakeholders and civil service alike understand House decisions and build policy recommendations. It has also given me a stronger sense of how the Legislative Assembly works to keep its proceedings open and accessible.
While I mostly worked within Hansard and House Documents, I got a glimpse of the nature of Language Services’ work by trying my hand at translating a webpage from French to English and even sitting in on an interpreter’s training session! As my final task with Hansard, I contributed to the directory that editorial staff consult when they are producing the Hansard transcript by researching and further expanding its list of Indigenous language resources. From these experiences, I was able to explore how language is inherently tied to the work of the Legislature and to constituency representation.
Being placed in HPLS has helped me understand how their work is integral to the functioning of the Legislature. Thank you to Ros, Katherine, Peter, Steve, Anna-Marie, David, and everyone else who supported me and made me feel so welcome this past month!