Last week the ten OLIP interns went on a road trip. On Sunday we drove from Toronto to Quebec City—that was a long day, despite the fact I didn’t have to do any of the driving. Quebec City was beautiful, our hosts were welcoming and our meetings were informative. Quebec has long been a leader in pushing its provincial agenda on the international stage. Recently, Ontario and other provinces were, for the first time, formally invited to trade negotiations (CETA). I believe the trend towards greater sub-national involvement in trade negotiations will continue, so I think there’s a lot that can be learned from Quebec’s experience.
The second leg of our trip took us to Ottawa. We had some fascinating meetings. MP Mulcair had a very interesting analysis of the recent federal by-election results. He spoke to the need for political parties to do real, significant policy work in gearing up for an election. Our meeting with Bob Rae was equally thought-provoking. I’m spent some time studying the Rae government, so it was really great to get it straight from the horse’s mouth. Unfortunately I caught a flu near the end of the trip, and wasn’t able to enjoy the nightlife element of our trip, but it was still a great time.