A new week brought with it milder weather, but certainly not a milder agenda for the Interns. OLIP continues to meet with exciting public servants and Assembly staff as orientation unfolds, and this Tuesday was no different.
The day kicked off in dialogue with the Parliamentary Protocol and Public Relations (PPPR) branch. Director Debi LaMantia took us through the myriad of programs run by PPPR, from the Grade 7 and 8 Legislative Page Program (a program both impressive and adorable), to interparliamentary delegations (yes folks, that includes royal visits). This was followed by an informative meeting with the Executive Director of Technology Services, Kirk Cameron, and his capable team.
Our third meeting of the day found us in a room with Deputy Clerk, Todd Decker, who has more than thirty years of experience at the Legislative Assembly. He has seen governments come and go and has watched the interesting evolution of Members’ interactions both inside and outside of the House. He discussed how the Standing Orders have helped to make House business more predictable. For example, there are time limits on the introduction of bills and the number of petitions that can be introduced in a day. The Orders and Notices Paper is followed more strictly. Mr. Decker also noted that the televising of Question Period has contributed to the standardization of House proceedings.
“It’s changed a lot,” he reflects, though ultimately, the job remains an exciting and gratifying one for him. “On any given day, you don’t know what [is] going to happen.”
We finished the day at the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner on Bay St. Brian Beamish, Commissioner since 2014, has a difficult and important mandate. His Office employs more than 100 staff who oversee a mind-boggling 60,000 provincial and municipal Freedom of Information requests per year.
And that concludes our day in the life. To echo Mr. Decker, every single day is exciting, though (or perhaps because) on any given day, we just don’t know what might happen.