For my first placement, I am working with independent MPP Lucille Collard who represents the riding of Ottawa-Vanier and is part of the Liberal caucus. (According to the Standing Orders, only those political parties with at least 10% of the seats in the Assembly are considered recognized Parties, giving them certain privileges. All others are considered independent members.) MPP Collard is the critic for four different portfolios (Attorney General, Solicitor General, Women’s Issues, and Environment) and is the only independent Member on the Standing Committee on Justice Policy.
On one of my first days in MPP Collard’s office, the Government released the 2020 budget. I was given one section and told to quickly analyze it before briefing MPP Collard on some of the important points that she could highlight in her responses to the media. As someone who prefers to take time to reflect, I was definitely challenged by this task, but it was a great learning experience and prepared me for a few weeks later when we repeated the process with the Auditor General’s report on the environment.
MPP Collard also has a few different ideas for Private Members’ Bills (PMBs), so I was able to put my research skills to work to consolidate some background information on one topic and provide some options for moving forward. I have also enjoyed writing questions for Question Period and different statements for MPP Collard to say in the Legislature. Because MPP Collard makes a point of speaking often in French, I have also been able to do some of my tasks in my second language, which has helped me keep up my own French skills.
MPP Collard and her entire team have been very welcoming and I enjoyed my first month in her office a lot! Thank you MPP Collard!