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Study Tour to Ottawa

Last month the interns had the opportunity to go on their first study tour to Québec City and Ottawa. It was a jam-packed week with great meetings, amazing locations, and awesome people. After a few days in Québec city, the interns took the train to Ottawa and arrived to some amazing weather.

On our first full day in the city, we started off the day with a meeting with MP Yasir Naqvi. The interns were really excited for this meeting as MP Naqvi is a former MPP and Minister. One of the most striking things about the meeting was Mr. Naqvi’s frankness when it came to balancing your career and family life.

We also had the honour to meet Deputy Speaker, Carol Hughes, and Minister Jean-Yves Duclos who shared their insights into their roles and how they handled the pandemic as elected officials. That day we also watched Question Period which provided us with context to compare to the Ontario Legislature. While there was no clapping or banging on the desks, there was more heckling in the Chamber than at Queen’s Park. We ended the day with a fascinating meeting with Green Party MP Mike Morrice.

On our second and final day, we started off with a meeting with MP Erin O’Toole. We asked him about leadership and how his father shaped his approach to politics. Next, we had a meeting with MP Melissa Lantsman, who shared many insights from her experience in political communications and federal politics. We also met with Minister Marc Miller and discussed Crown-Indigenous relations and how Canada can move meaningfully towards Reconciliation and better relationships with Indigenous communities. Finally, we had the chance to meet the Clerk of the House of Commons, Charles Robert who is an encyclopedia of parliamentary procedure. It was amazing to see discuss the role of non-partisan officials in facilitating our democracy and the need for greater diversity amongst senior leaders in the field.

The interns also got to host an event with our alumni at Byward Market which was such a treat! We shared stories from our time in the programme and learned how so many of our alumni found their way to the city. It was great to see all the different career paths they have taken after OLIP and we look forward to forging our own paths come the end of June.

Overall, we had such an amazing time in Ottawa! A big thank you to the Parliamentary Internship Programme for generously hosting us and to everyone who took the time to meet with us!

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