The interns had a unique opportunity to chat with Mr. Ernie Eves, former Premier and the Minister of Finance under Mike Harris. A well-known figure for his 24 years of public service, Mr. Eves’ candour and stimulating answers further revealed his unique and vast experience in politics. In particular, his ideas on managing economies were of particular interest, especially against the backdrop of today’s global economy. The interns would like to thank Mr. Ernie Eves for taking the time to share his thoughts with us!
My first placement is with MPP Lisa Thompson from Huron-Bruce riding in South-Western Ontario. Lisa is one of the new Progressive Conservative MPP’s with a mandate to represent the province’s rural interests. Lisa is the deputy critic for Energy with focus on the Green Energy Act. This portfolio is a good fit for Lisa’s riding, which is home to a large number of the province’s wind turbines and nuclear generation. So far, I’ve been in Lisa’s Queen’s Park office doing research on policies in other jurisdictions, writing briefings on constituency issues and academic reports, and writing my first articles for local media outlets. I will be in the riding later this month when Lisa hosts two media events at her constituency offices in Blythe and Kincardine during the visit of fellow Progressive Conservative MPP Vic Fideli. Lisa’s office has been enthusiastic about having me on their team and, although the house isn’t sitting, I’ve been involved a variety of interesting work projects.
One day, I’m sitting in a creperie on Rue St. Jean in Quebec City with my fellow interns, both Ontarian and Quebecois, discussing our whirlwind travel week, and what MPPs we expect (or hope) to work for – the next, I’m in a boardroom in the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities, flanking my brand new MPP Kevin Flynn, being briefed on the implementation of the Ontario College of Trades, a new self-regulating body for Ontario’s tradespeople. The life of an intern is nothing if not unpredictable! My past few weeks have been spent hanging on for dear life, familiarizing myself with this large new enterprise, almost three years in the making, and all of the many interests at play. Kevin has been great about having me by his side every step of the way, attending Ministry briefings, as well as meetings with College of Trade Board members and the Minister. It is a fascinating project, and I’m excited to be a part of it.
I’ve also been to the constituency four times already. I attended a meeting of the Ontario Parliamentary Youth Advisory Committee, met with a civics class at Oakville Trafalgar High School, and visited the Goodrich Landing Gear facility. Back in Toronto, I attended the launch of the government’s new tuition grant at OCAD University with Kevin and Minister Murray. The lights may be dark in the Chamber, but political life is never dull!
n”: address the concerns of some local seniors about an uneven sidewalk. Mike took the matter into his own hands, which is how I found myself shaking pothole filler into the hole as Mike pounded it down with a shovel. What a great introduction to the intimately local level of provincial politics – enhanced by the fact that he knew at least half of the people who walked by while we were doing this.
It was a great chance to start seeing the diversity of his Toronto riding. Having gone to the University of Toronto, I must admit that my conception of Toronto used to end just north of Bloor Street – but after seeing everywhere from Lawrence & Dufferin to Eglinton & Caledonia, I’m starting to realize the incredible socio-economic and cultural differences within the riding.
Another notable stop we made was at Randy’s, which I’m told has the best Jamaican patties in Toronto. After eating two of them, I can attest that they’re pretty incredibly delicious, with a good amount of spicy fire that left my lips tingling. Seeing Mike transition easily from meeting Italian seniors to joking with the staff at Randy’s has given me a taste of the lifestyle of a high-calibre politician, who seems to be ubiquitous and recognizable all over his riding.
Needless to say, my day was the envy of the entire intern cohort, and I’m looking forward to even more days like it (although next time, some of the constituency’s Italian food may have to be on the menu!).
Shoppers Drug Mart is one of the most recognized and trusted names in Canadian retailing and plays an important role in delivering pharmacy care, health service, education and support in communities from coast to coast.
With more than 1,200 Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix stores, we also license or own 60 medical clinic pharmacies, Shoppers Simply Pharmacy, and 63 Shoppers Home Health Care stores across Canada. Additionally, we operate Shoppers Drug Mart Specialty Health Network Inc., a provider of specialty drug distribution, pharmacy and comprehensive patient support services, and MediSystem Technologies Inc., a provider of pharmaceutical products and services to long-term care facilities in Ontario and Alberta.
As a leader in health and community pharmacy, Shoppers Drug Mart continues to invest in the well-being of Canadians and our communities. In this regard, Shoppers Drug Mart developed the WOMEN program, a commitment to the health of Canadian women in body, mind and spirit. This national initiative connects women to health information and resources that help ensure their health only gets stronger. Our WOMEN program includes our leadership in the Shoppers Drug Mart /Pharmaprix Weekend to End Women’s Cancers, facingcancer.ca, the nationally focused Motherisk program and our community oriented Tree of Life Campaign.
In 2011 in Ontario alone the Toronto and Ottawa Shoppers Drug Mart Weekend to End Women’s Cancers raised $9.4 million for the Princess Margaret Hospital and $1.8 million for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation. This included 671 Shoppers employees who personally raised $725,000 for these organizations. In addition, the 2011 Tree of Life campaign raised $1.7 million to support 154 women’s organizations across Ontario.
We are very proud to sponsor the Ontario Legislative Internship Programme and congratulate the participants for their commitment to learning first-hand about our parliamentary system and the development of public policy. We look forward to one day partnering with these future leaders who will no doubt help create vibrant, healthy communities.
. It is money well spent.