It’s been a whirlwind of information and meetings these first few weeks, but so far I’ve definitely learned how many layers of the government and Legislative Assembly are invisible to outsiders. The Legislative Library and Legislative Research Services are two of these little-known gems, and when I discovered the services they offer to members (and, by extension, us when we’re in their offices) I was absolutely blown away.
We first met the Library staff, who were all incredibly friendly (not to mention great bakers!). The library assembles the daily clippings package of top news stories on provincial politics, which is a great tool to catch up on what’s being said in all of the major daily newspapers. The collection they hold is absolutely unique, but that still pales in comparison to the service they offer. The reference desk offers a one-stop referral service to answer any questions or assist with research. So when we have two hours to find everything said in the Assembly on a certain issue, or the original wording of an old piece of legislation, we have experienced hands and minds that can help us do our work.
We also had the pleasure to meet the talented staff members of the Legislative Research Service, who handle more topical and in-depth research. They provided a great welcome to their office and a thorough overview of how the LRS confidentially and professionally handles requests by members, their staffs, and each legislative committee. We talked with the researchers in each policy group (health and education, justice, social and environmental policy, public administration, etc.) about how and when they can be of assistance. They also shared some of the in-depth research papers and issue binders they’ve been writing and updating over the summer. I’m particularly looking forward to reading all about the roles of different legislative positions and the pros and cons of different types of renewable energy.
I’m super excited about the opportunity to work with such talented and modest individuals to serve the members.