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Placement Posts - David with Parliamentary Protocol and Public Relations

For my Assembly Placement, I worked with the Parliamentary Protocol and Public Relations branch at the Legislature. The Public Relations side of the branch does things like run educational programming for schools, provide resources for teachers, and organize tours of the Legislature, all with the goal of educating Ontarians on the significance of the Legislature and drawing them inside. The Protocol side supports Members involved in inter-parliamentary associations, oversees flag raising ceremonies, and assists the Speaker in hosting various diplomatic delegations.

One highlight for me was sitting in on a meeting of the Réseau des femmes (Women’s Network) of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie (APF). The APF brings together parliamentarians from all over the world to discuss issues, share ideas, write reports, network, and collaborate on areas of mutual interest. This particular meeting united women parliamentarians from several jurisdictions where French is used, including Ontario, Belgium, Greece, French Polynesia, Vietnam, Madagascar, Senegal, and more. The discussion covered a range of issues including the role of women in extractive industries like mining, the online harassment experienced by women parliamentarians, and the central role women have played in the fight against COVID-19.

It was a pleasure to see such strong collaboration and relationship building between those of such diverse backgrounds. Witnessing first-hand the work of these parliamentarians reinforced for me the value of such international forums: even though they can be slow and tedious at times due to the plethora of perspectives and the large number of actors involved, the discussion and collaboration that they foster on the international stage are integral to helping us address the complex issues facing the world. It was a privilege to witness the important work that Ontario’s parliamentarians are doing within these multilateral institutions.

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