OLIP Meets with The Churchill Society

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An army officer, painter, writer, and Prime Minister. Of the many roles he was known for Winston Churchill is well-remembered for his work as a Parliamentarian. Accordingly, his work lives on through the Churchill Society, one of OLIP’s proud sponsors that strives for the advancement of Parliamentary Democracy. It was with much delight that we welcomed Corinne Murray and John Parker to our office to learn about the achievements of the man the organization is named after, as well as to engage in a thoughtful discussion about raising awareness among youth with regards to the kind of work they do. Our partnership with the Churchill Society is unlike any other, as every year one member in our group is given the opportunity to serve on their board of the directors, and the cohort is graciously invited to their Annual Award Dinner. We’d like to express our sincerest appreciation for their continued support over the years and very much look forward to seeing them again soon.

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OLIP Meets with TD!

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A short time ago, the Interns had the pleasure of sitting down with Gary Clement, Director of Government Relations from TD Bank Group. As a former federal political staffer on parliament hill, Mr. Clement has worked on various notable campaigns such as those of former prime minister’s Kim Campbell Stephen Harper.

As a member of TD Bank Group for 15 years now,  the interns were fascinated to hear about his transition from the public to private sector. Mr. Clement shared with us how the valuable the knowledge we are gaining in government now, can help us in whatever industry we choose to enter later in life. The key is to keep an open mind because there are transferable skills to be absorbed in everything we do.

The last piece of advice Mr. Clement highlighted as the most important, was to be nice and make friends. He stressed that politics is a small world. Getting to know others and form relationships is the best part of the job. In his political life he referenced experiencing the best and worst times with his colleagues by his side.

We want to sincerely thank Gary for his candidness and open discussion about his life in politics. His advice on how engage with people and make lasting relationships and friendships is something we will never forget.

OLIP’s guide to a few of Ontario’s Independent Legislative Officers

Before joining OLIP, many of us weren’t familiar with the nine Ontario Independent Legislative Officers. They include the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, the Chief Electoral Officer, the Auditor General of Ontario, the Information and Privacy Commissioner, the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth, the Ontario Ombudsman, French Language Services Commissioner, Integrity Commissioner, and the Financial Accountability Officer. Lucky for us, we were able to sit down with several of the officers to hear about their important role in this province. Here is what we learned!

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Ms. Lysyk and her team shared the ins and outs of the auditing process in Ontario. The Auditor General plays an important role as an independent office of the Legislative Assembly. They conduct value-for-money and financial audits of the provincial government, its ministries and agencies. Moreover, they audit organizations in the broader public sector that receive provincial funding, such as universities and colleges, hospitals, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, and school boards.

Paul Dube, Ombudsman
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Ombudsman Paul Dube and the deputy Ombudsman, Barb Finlay provided a refreshingly positive perspective how the Ombudsman fulfills their mandate to provide constructive recommendations to government agencies. Although governments and government agencies receive these recommendations, they are under no obligation to follow through on their suggestions although they are usually enforced. However, the Ombudsman is traditionally r the last resort for a complaint and they have their own discretion not to investigate. Mr. Dube and Ms. Finlay encompass a collaborative and supportive environment which manifests in their workplace culture and their proactive communication to Ontarians.

Francois Boileau, French Language Services CommissionerProcessed with VSCO with c1 preset

Francois Boileau is the French Language Services Commissioner of Ontario. He is passionate about fulfilling the office’s mandate to ensure French language services are available to francophones across the province. He is genuinely passionate about expanding that mandate further to help more Ontarians gain access to necessary French goods and services. For example, he is expanding the definition of francophones to include people from diverse ethnic backgrounds who speak French at home. Mr. Boileau also took us through examples of why French language services are important to thousands of Ontarians navigating a government and social systems designed for English speaking people.

Brian Beamish, Information and Privacy Commissioner

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetThe Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner is tasked with resolving thousands of access to information appeals and privacy complaints every year. To do this, they research, review and approve information practices and provide their recommendations on tabled legislation, policies and programs relating to issues of privacy. The commissioner talked about his offices’ his role in overseeing compliance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA); which allows the public to request government documents, the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA); which analyses city corporations and school boards and Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA); which supervises the healthcare sector.

We look forward to meeting the remaining Independent Officers in the coming weeks. Be sure to check out the Independent Officers – they are here to support all Ontarians and ensure transparent, accountable governments!