For my second placement with OLIP, I had the opportunity to work with Dave Levac, the MPP for Brant and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Energy and Infrastructure. I am one of many interns to have worked in Dave’s office, though the first one to work with him as the PA to MEI. This session, I was able to contribute to several projects in the office, and will detail 2 in particular. First off, I worked on Dave’s Private Member’s Bill, Bill 5, which sets out a bill of rights for pupils with diabetes. Dave is well known for tabling several private member’s bills every session on issues of significance to him and his community. However, during this legislative session, Dave chose to take Bill 5 to second reading at Queen’s Park. I was able to work on the research side of the bill, learning all about the issues diabetic students face across Ontario, and work with our stakeholders to develop a framework so that the bill will make it to committee. Writing out Dave’s notes for second reading, coordinating with diabetes organizations, and outreaching to MPPs from all sides of the house were all equally challenging and rewarding experiences. I am fortunate to have played a major role in Bill 5, so much so that Dave acknowledged me in his speech on the bill, so my name is now forever inscribed in Hansard!
In addition to working on Bill 5, writing up correspondence with constituents, setting up and attending meetings with Dave, I also worked on planning the first ever Brant Day at Queen’s Park. Hosted by Dave, the Speaker, and Walter Gretzky, Brant Day took place on May 31, 2010 at Queen’s Park. Over 70 people came down from the riding to showcase the Brant region to their elected representatives. Numerous MPPs and several Cabinet Ministers came to Brant Day to visit the booths from economic development organizations, cultural groups, First Nations communities, post-secondary institutions, and agricultural associations. After question period, Dave, Walter, and the Speaker held the first ever hockey ball drop in honour of the Walter Gretzky annual ball hockey tournament, held yearly in Brantford. The event was a huge success, with policy advisors, deputy ministers, and assistant deputy ministers from all ministries also coming to learn about the Brant community and all it has to offer. Attendees at the reception were treated to lunch and some local treats, such as Ferraro Rocher chocolates, which are made in Brantford! The most exciting part for me was being able to participate in the planning for the event, which included 2 trips to Brantford to coordinate with local chamber of commerce, Tourism Brantford, and more. Working on this reception, whether it was organizing catering, planning the set-up, or giving away the incredible goodie bags at the end, was an absolute pleasure. I am extremely fortunate to have been so involved in these 2 projects in Dave’s office, along with many other initiatives.