Our 7th day of being legislative interns began with a meeting with Ms. Nancy Marling, Director of Human Resources for the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. We were able to gain a perspective the challenges facing this office in the coming election year with some members leaving while others will be coming into office. Ms. Marling was also able to provide us with some advice on career development and I suspect we will be contacting her in the future on the eve of finishing this internship!
Later that afternoon we met with Ms. Cheryl Fullerton of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association, a sponsor of the OLIP program. With the full day kindergarten issue hot on the agenda this offered a timely opportunity for our questions. This discussion of education in the province also helped prepare us for our final meeting of the day.
Our meeting with the Premier, Mr. Dalton McGuinty was very exciting for us interns. He told us he was turned down by the interns when he applied for one before he was Premier, but still always looked forward to meeting the group. He asked us about our backgrounds, but the rest of the meeting allowed us each the opportunity to ask him questions. One highlight from this meeting was when he spoke of his personal background and the value of passion, which he clearly demonstrated to us when speaking about his commitment to the public education system. I also valued the chance to ask him about the schism between Northern and Southern Ontario politics that I often encounter when returning home to Thunder Bay. He commented on the need to further develop a sense that as part of the same province, we are all in this together.
It was an eventful day where we were able to get a three-fold perspective of Queen’s Park: from the HR legislative staff to OECTAD that has a strong interest in lobbying government, and finally the head of the Ontario government.