In early May, the OLIP interns had the fantastic opportunity to visit Quebec City and learn about the history and work of the National Assembly. We got to meet a variety of MNAs from different political parties, including MNA Sol Zanetti from Quebec Solidaire, MNA Sylvain Gaudreault from the Parti Québécois, MNA David Birnbaum and MNA Maryse Gaudreault from the Quebec Liberal Party and MNA Joëlle Boutin from Coalition Avenir Québec. By getting to hear from such a variety of political perspectives, we quickly gained a better understanding of the complexity of Quebec politics and the significant implications it has on Ontario and political decision-making in Canada.
Besides MNAs, we also got to meet some civil servants including the Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Opatrny, as well as Mr. Donald Leblanc and Ms. Véronique Aimée Dion from the Ministry of International Relations. It was interesting to hear about how Quebec’s specific political and cultural context impacts the approach to health services and international relations.
We also met the Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Michel J. Doyon. We had the privilege of hearing his insights on the role of the Crown in Quebec at a meeting in his office.
Finally, we had a enlightening discussion with Mr. Siegfried Peters, Secretary General of the National Assembly. As a group of self-described parliamentary procedure nerds, we welcomed the opportunity to take a comparative perspective!
We would like to thank all the people we met with for taking the time out of their busy schedules to meet with us, and our counterparts, the Fondation Jean-Charles-Bonenfant Interns, for arranging such a fantastic itinerary for us!