This week has been one of mixed emotions. It is sad to be leaving Marie-France Lalonde’s office, but I am excited to be heading to my new placement in the opposition!
Working in Marie-France’s office has taught me a lot about the way government really works. There have been so many great opportunities for both personal and professional growth that I will have to pick only a few highlights to talk about. Firstly, I found it interesting to see how Parliamentary Assistants interact with their ministries and through this I have learned a lot about Economic Development and Francophone Affairs. As is no secret, I am passionate about “la Francophonie” in Canada and found it particularly interesting to be a part of the first Liberal French Caucus meetings as well as to have the chance to sit in on briefings at the ministry and meet with key stakeholders in the community. Another fascinating aspect of my placement with Marie-France has been been working on her very first Private Member’s Bill. From research to initial drafting and through helping with the remarks, I felt as though I had a real voice in the office and both Marie-France and Kyle, her Legislative Assistant, valued my input on the proposed legislation.
Marie-France, as all other MPPs, lives a very fast paced life and her staff has to keep up. Some of my favourite moments came from last minute interviews, debates or statements. The pressure of creating quality briefing notes in order for her to carry out her role effectively was invigorating to me!
At the end of the day, as I look back on my first placement, I cannot imagine a better place to start off the year. I have to thank Marie-France and all of her staff for ensuring I had a great four months filled with valuable experiences.
Now, I am getting ready to switch hats and move to the opposition. For this placement, I will be working with MPP Steve Clark, the Opposition House Leader in the Progressive Conservative Party. I am eager to learn more about the procedural aspects of the house and as a bonus MPP Clark is from my hometown riding of Leeds and Grenville. It will be great to work with him on issues that are familiar to me. I can’t wait!