Sponsor Spotlights: Professional Engineers of Ontario and Brown & Cohen


As our time in OLIP quickly comes to an end, we would like to reflect on one of our more recent sponsor meetings: Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO) and Brown & Cohen. It must be the end of the OLIP year because it has become tradition that we meet once our academic papers are complete, in order to share our findings.

OLIP has an extensive history with both PEO and Brown & Cohen — they are longtime supporters and sponsors of the program. PEO is the regulatory body of all engineers in Ontario. They are governed under the Professional Engineers Act and have a mission to “regulate and advance the practice of engineering to protect the public interest.” Jeannette Chau is the Manager of Government Liaison Programs at PEO and has been the long-time link between Queen’s Park and PEO.

On the other hand, Brown & Cohen Communications — Public Affairs is a public affairs firm founded by Howard Brown. He is incredibly well-known and respected in both Ontario and Canada’s political landscape, AND he is probably one of the biggest OLIP supports one can meet! Brown & Cohen has a number of diverse clients, notably: Professional Engineers of Ontario.

It was on a Friday afternoon the interns made a visit to the PEO offices in North York where we met with Howard Brown, Jeannette Chau and Rochelle Pereira-Alvares, Research Policy Analyst at PEO. We were delighted and grateful to be welcomed to a lunch where we shared a bit about ourselves, this OLIP year, and the academic papers we wrote. It was encouraging to see Mr. Brown, Ms. Chau, and Ms. Pereira-Alvares take such an interest in both the program and the research we’ve worked on throughout this parliamentary session.

In addition to sharing about ourselves, we are grateful to have had presentations by Ms. Chau and Mr. Brown about their respective organizations. We learned about the operations and importance of a regulatory body like PEO and how they function through changing political climates. Additionally, we were given insight into the world of communications, PR and how Mr. Brown has created such a successful firm through his many years of experience navigating the political world.

We want to wholeheartedly thank both PEO and Brown & Cohen for not only hosting us at a fun, wholesome lunch, but for their continued, unwavering support for the OLIP program. THANK YOU!



Sponsor Spotlight: Ontario Power Generation

OPG - Behind the Scenes

Our meet-up with the Ontario Power Generation (OPG) this year came in two parts. First, we took a trip to Pickering to visit OPG’s Pickering Nuclear Generation Station. We began this tour by sitting down with the GR team on-site to discuss provincial operations and the variety of energy production methods OPG oversees. We learned that the Pickering Station alone produces about 15% of Ontario’s power! After this meeting, we geared up for a tour (which included hard hats and goggles!). We started with an overview of the plant’s history and the science behind nuclear fission for energy production. Following that was a full walk through of the facility including the radiator entrances, control room, cooling pools and wind turbines. It was a truly unforgettable

A couple weeks later, we met with the OPG government relations team in their downtown office which is just across the street from Queen’s Park. In this meeting we learned an incredible amount about OPG, its connection to the Ontario Legislature, and about the energy sector in Ontario. We realized that the energy sector is quite complex; the technology to extract and store energy for easy access is something we tend to take for granted. Not anymore!

We want to give a huge shout out and thank you to Ontario Power Generation for continually championing the OLIP program. Year after year we are grateful for your support.

Sponsor Spotlight: Ontario Community Newspapers Association

4 - Ontario Community Newspapers Association - Metroland

This week, we’re highlighting our awesome sponsor, the Ontario Community Newspaper Association (OCNA)!

The team met up with OCNA in person where we, together visited the Metroland Media Group publishing and distribution warehouse. We learned so much through this tour.  Local newspapers are so important for getting news around communities in Ontario, and OCNA is integral in this. Further, we learned that Metroland Media Group helps produce over 80 local newspapers and commercial flyers which are distributed to local municipalities all across the province. From watching endless reams of paper cycle through the print shop to witnessing the cutting, folding and packaging of the final product in the warehouse, we enjoyed it all. The day also included a chat with the brilliant journalistic and marketing minds behind the content of the media and a discussion about how they are adapting to technology and digital media.

Thank you to OCNA for making this tour happen, and for creating this learning opportunity. We are grateful for the support you give to OLIP!

Sponsor Spotlight: Loblaws!

6- Loblaws (Joe Fresh)- Group

The interns met with Alain Brandon – Vice President, Government Relations and Corporate Social Responsibility at Loblaw Companies Limited at the home of their fashion brand and retail chain – Joe Fresh.

As Canada’s largest food distributor, we learned how closely government policy affects operations. Additionally, we learned that the company has an immensely large presence in the grocery, drug and general retail market. We want to thank Mr. Brandon for meeting with the OLIP interns each year. Our candid conversation was incredibly insightful and we left feeling much more knowledgeable about the operations of Loblaws and government relations in general.

In addition to our lovely chat, we were so excited to have a sneak peak of the new spring Joe Fresh line and were also able to take home some infamous Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookies. Thank you Loblaws for continually supporting the OLIP program!  


Sponsor Spotlight: AMAPCEO

5 - AMAPCEO - Group

The interns had a very informative lunch and learn session with the Association of Management, Administrative and Professional Crown Employees of Ontario (AMAPCEO) which represents over 14,000 public sector professionals. The interns were grateful for the opportunity to sit down with President Dave Blumer and his team to discuss their unique approach to advocacy for their members. Mr. Blumer was generous enough to provide us with a small feast as we learned about the general history of unions in Ontario as well as the way AMAPCEO works within these traditional frameworks.

It’s always so heartwarming when we meet a group of professionals who are willing to share their expertise with us, and who are fond of the program. We left this meeting feeling incredibly encouraged by Mr. Blumer and his team as they went out of their way to make us feel welcome. They were patient as they answered our (many) questions! We also left this meeting with a clearer understanding of how AMAPCEO operates differently than other Ontario unions while still maintaining their friendships with them.

We want to give a big THANK YOU to the AMAPCEO team for welcoming us to the office, and thank you for continually supporting OLIP.

Sponsor Spotlight: Rogers Communications and Sportsnet


As interns, we have the unique opportunity to get a behind the scenes look at how our government works and the legislative process. We get to see first hand how each internal part helps further the Legislature’s ultimate goals and public policy initiatives. But with the generous support of our sponsors, we also get to see the behind the scenes of some of the top industries in Ontario. Today, our sponsor spotlight is on Rogers Communication and our visit to their Toronto studio.

On our tour of Sportsnet, we visited several different sets of their regular shows including Tim and Sid, Canada’s sports duo. We all had our fun looking around the set, checking out the broadcasting equipment and taking turns playing the role of the program’s hosts. We also had the chance to walk through the bullpen where we saw all the sports journalists hard at work watching playbacks of sports games, checking player stats, and scanning social media for new material. You could definitely feel the energy in the room!

Finally, we sat down with Jodi Parps the Manager of Government Relations. Her portfolio covers both provincial and municipal jurisdictions. She explained the unique features of doing GR for an international telecommunications organization like Rogers that has so many multifaceted operations including service delivery and content creation.

Thank you so much to Jodi and the whole team at Rogers that took time to show us around. We loved spending our Friday afternoon with you. We really appreciate your continuous support for OLIP!

Sponsor Spotlight: Estee Lauder

Today’s sponsor spotlight is on our generous donor Estee Lauder. We sat down with the  Executive Director of Global Regulatory Affairs and Government Relations, Kathleen Ljubisic  and the Executive Director of Manufacturing Campbell Piper to learn about Estée Lauder Companies’ global operations. During their presentation, we were surprised to learn just how many skincare brands are represented by Estee Lauder as the parent company, such as MAC, Clinique, and Smashbox. We were also proud to learn that the items produced right here in the GTA are shipped to international markets around the world.


One of the highlights of the visit was getting a behind the scenes look at the production cycle of a bottle of the iconic Ruby Woo MAC lipstick. We suited up in our safety gear (hair nets included) and walked through the lipstick’s entire lifecycle. We started at the ingredient selection and formula mixing section where just the right amount of all the secret ingredients are assembled together in massive industry mixers. During our tour, we even saw the production of a brand new MAC colour coming in their next release! Finally, we moved on to watch product moulding, bottling and packaging, before it finally gets shipped off to Estee Lauder brand stores and distributors around the world.


On our way out, Estee Lauder gifted us a goodie bag of make-up and skincare treats, including our very own Ruby Woo lipstick – talk about coming full circle! Thank you so much Estee Lauder for your warm welcome, generosity and knowledge. We really appreciate your support of program!
2 - Estée Lauder Companies

Sponsor Spotlight: Bombardier!

1 - Bombardier - Group

Today we are shining the spotlight on OLIP’s long time sponsor and Canadian manufacturing company, Bombardier. On December 14th 2018, we had the opportunity to visit their aerospace manufacturing facility in north Toronto. From check-in by Helen Medeiros, Event & Site Tour Coordinator, to our departure, we were greatly taken care of. Our tour guide, Pasha Pirouzi, Global Business Aircraft AMO & Deliveries lead, provided us with a historical overview of the progression of each aircraft model along with a tour of Bombardier’s central hanger to watch mechanics and engineers assemble planes from start to finish. We even got to meet the luxurious Global 7500, the newest model in the company’s fleet holding the title as the world’s largest business range jet owned by celebrities and high ranking public officials.

Following our tour we had the chance to sit down with the government relations team including; Sandra Buckler, Senior Director External Affairs and Public Relations and Yana Lukasheh, Manager of Government Affairs to discuss their relationship with government and their experiences working for such a massive, Canada-centric organization. Although all industries traditionally have a government relations team who is the representative of the organization to elected officials, it is always interesting to hear about how each team develops their own communication style based on their organization’s mandate. Bombardier’s GR team was extremely generous with their time and provided high level insights into Bombardiers Inc.’s full scope of work including transportation, aviation and financial services.

It is always so special for us to be hosted by fantastic sponsors, like Bombardier. It is absolutely one of the highlights of being an OLIP intern to learn on site about the diverse industries around Ontario. A special thank you goes out to Alice Trudelle, Manager of Government and Parliamentary Affairs for making our visit possible.

Thank you, Bombardier for being a loyal OLIP sponsor and for taking time out of your day to educate us about your work!


Key Sponsors:

  • Alice Trudelle  – Manager, Government and Parliamentary Affairs
  • Helen Medeiros – Event Coordinator & Site Tour Coordinator, Global Business Aircraft
  • Sandra Buckler – Senior Director External Affairs and Public Relations
  • Yana Lukasheh – Manager, Government Affairs
  • Pasha Pirouzi – Global Business Aircraft AMO & Deliveries

Recap: Yellowknife!


Just like that, our Yellowknife study tour has come and gone, and the House has been sitting for almost two weeks now. But ask any one of us, and we will tell you that our lives have been changed for the better after visiting the Northwest Territories.

One week in Yellowknife was enough to make us fall in love with the city. We were welcomed to the NWT Legislature with warmth and generosity. We had a number of meetings, activities, and life changing experiences there to keep us smiling for the rest of the year.

When it comes to the meetings, we met with a wide array of people from government as well as local and territorial stakeholders. Among them, we were fortunate to meet:

  • Jackson Lafferty, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly
  • Tim Mercer, Clerk of the Legislative Assembly
  • Lee Selleck, Director of Research, Library and Information
  • Her Worship Rebecca Alty, Mayor of Yellowknife
  • Honourable Louis Sebert, Minister Responsible for Public Engagement and Transparency
  • Julie Green, MLA and Chair of the Special Committee to Increase the Representation of Women
  • John Vandenberg, Assistant Deputy Minister, Programs and Services, Department of Infrastructure at the Government of Northwest Territories
  • Kathryn Barry Paddock, Executive Director of the NWT Literacy Council
  • Nicole Latour, Chief Electoral Officer
  • Craig Yeo and Bob Bromley, Alternatives North
  • Paul Gruner, President and CEO of Det’on Cho Corporation

Meeting with such a diverse group of people in various roles really gave us an in-depth understanding of how government runs in the Northwest Territories. It is impossible to go to Yellowknife without hearing of their consensus form of government.In this style of government, Members are elected as independents and attempt to come to decisions that all members are comfortable with. One attribute of consensus governments is that they are  free of partisan politics. Being from Ontario, it was incredible to learn the ins and outs of consensus government. We quickly learned that just because there are no formal political parties, the NWT is not free from politicking — they have a different set of unique issues that arise in their government. Experiencing consensus government in action is truly a privilege and felt like we were watching a legislature at the peak of of its democracy.

In addition to meetings with officials, we were beyond excited to explore the various activities that Yellowknife has to offer. Among the Yellowknife experiences, our highlights consist of watching the Northern Lights together as a group, continuing the tradition of eating at Bullock’s Fish and Chips with the Clerk of the House, and dog sledding!

I don’t think we expected to fall in love with Yellowknife and its residents quite like we did. This experience made us see the true beauty of winter, very different from our slushy experience in downtown Toronto! We saw the diversity of landscape, people, and opportunities that the Great North has, and this made us all the more grateful to be Canadian. Apparently, every year there are a few interns so enamored with the NWT that they pledge to move there. So far this hasn’t happened yet, but there are a couple in this cohort who seem keen on the idea. Let’s hope that this dream can become a reality – it would truly be such an adventure to live and work there.

Again, we’re so grateful to be in OLIP and to have had the opportunity to see and experience a new part of Canada that we had only dreamt about.  Special shout out to Cynthia and Haley at the legislature who scheduled our entire trip and welcome us so kindly to Yellowknife — we couldn’t have done this trip without you!



To those applying, we wish you well!


The day has finally come! Applications for the 2019/2020 OLIP year will close at midnight tonight. We want to wish everyone applying good luck. We realize that this time of year is hectic and stressful, to say the least. It’s a time of uncertainty and waiting patiently for results from grad schools, internship, and job applications. We feel you! However, it’s also a time to reflect on all you’ve achieved thus far, and the possibilities for your life this upcoming year.

As for us, we are currently finishing up our first placement — we have one week left until it’s over! We will then set out on our study tour to Yellowknife for a week before starting our next placement. Life is busy and still pretty stressful for us, but it’s definitely a different kind of stress. We’re still amazed and grateful to be able to participate in this program.

Once again, good luck to everyone applying. We commend you on your hard work in all your endeavours thus far. Take a moment to breathe in this precious moment of life if you can!