Nervously approaching the East doors to the Main Legislative Building on a sunny Wednesday morning, I wondered what would be in store for me over the next ten months. What sort of skills will I acquire? What might I learn about myself? Will I promptly make some costly mistake and be run out of Queen’s Park faster than you can say “OLIP?” With warm welcomes from the other interns, Eithne, and Dr. Jacek, my nerves were quickly eased. A cordial greeting from Premier Dalton McGuinty himself made it clear that this next chapter of my life would be a memorable one.
Receiving our permanent ID passes made it official that we were, in fact, supposed to be there. After our first lunch in the Queen’s Park cafeteria, we met with Anne and Lorraine, who gave us some valuable advice and information. They also expressed to us that their wealth of knowledge of Queen’s Park and the Legislative process was at our disposal, and for that we were all very grateful.
On Friday, breakfast with the Canadian Economic Club at the Intercontinental Hotel, though tired we may have been, was an enjoyable experience. More importantly, it gave us all a taste of the prestige of the programme and the elite circles we would be apart of.
Friday’s OLIP committee meeting, our first of many at Queen’s Park, was informative and shed some light on what we could expect from the next ten months. The excitement built as we discussed possible meeting attendees, trip destinations, events, and more. As Chair of Meetings, the idea of being in contact with the likes of Jean Chrétien, Rick Mercer and Mike Harris seemed almost surreal. Despite my inability to smile for photos, the OLIP photo shoot later that afternoon provided lots of laughs and some great pictures taken by Eithne. Everyone looked marvelous (on both sides, Natalie).
Based on the friendliness and diversity of the group, the obvious dedication of Dr. Jacek and the rest of administration, and the distinguished reputation of OLIP, all the interns left on Friday knowing that the year promised to be an experience like no other.