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The Ontario Legislature runs from September 1st to June 30th each year. It is a paid internship, with interns receiving $20,000 in stipends with additional payments upon completion of a draft and final version of an academic paper.
Interns also attend study trips to other legislatures. Each year, visits are planned for Ottawa, Quebec City, and, with the assistance of the British Consulate in Toronto, London, England. The interns choose the US or Canadian destination(s) of the Spring visit. Accommodation and travel expenses for these visits are covered by the Ontario Legislature Internship Programme through corporate donations.
The Intern Year
September: Orientation - Meetings with various departments within the legislature, sponsors and other groups and individuals to give a foundation for the year
October: In late September/early October, interns will interview the MPPs interested in hosting an intern and supply their choices to the OLIP administrative team for approval.
In mid October, interns will start working for their first placement MPP. Interns spend half their time with a government party member and the other half with an opposition member. The number of interns opposition parties receive is determined by the number of members elected to each party. In each term, half of the interns will be with an opposition member.
Mid November: OLIP Annual Fall Reception with sponsors, alumni, and MPPs/Ministers organised by the interns
December: Interns travel to Ottawa and Quebec City, attending a reception with the Canadian Political Science Association in Ottawa and comparative study trips to the Quebec National Assembly and House of Commons.
February: Interns' comparative study visit to a destination of their choosing (US/Canada or one city in each) before switching over to their second MPP placement.
March-April: Interns present their academic paper overviews to the administration and interns at our weekly meetings
April: OLIP selection of interns for following years, an intern sits on selection panel.
Mid May: OLIP Spring Fall Reception with sponsors, alumni, and MPPs/Ministers organised by the interns
Late May/Early June: Interns attend the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, where they often present their academic papers.
Late June: Interns end their internship with a comparative study visit to the Houses of Parliament in London, UK.
A week in the life of an internLauren Starr (OLIP 2007) discusses a week in the life of an intern:
Monday 8:30am: Read media clippings noting any issues pertinent to MPP. Perhaps make a media clippings package of local clippings if MPP desires.
Review MPP email and draft responses to emails from citizens and/or constituents.
Draft a question for tomorrow's Question Period.
Eat lunch at desk.
Get letters to constituents proofed by MPP's staff and then MPP
Attend Question Period.
Finish question for tomorrow's Question Period.
Tuesday 8:00am: Review media clippings.
Attend House Leaders meeting.
Open mail and put any invitations into MPP's calendar.
Meet other interns for lunch.
Go to Question Period.
Start news release for MPP's upcoming Private Member's Bill.
5:30pm: Go to reception at Queen's Park.
Wednesday 8:30am: Review media clippings
Work on MPP's Private Member's Bill.
Eat lunch at desk.
Talk to concerned constituent and refer back to constituency office.
Skip Question Period to work on member's statement.
6:30pm: Go to private reception with MPP.
Thursday 9:00am: Have meeting with a Minister and other interns.
Go with MPP to event in riding (if riding is close to Queen's Park) or go to media scrum with MPP.
Finish press release while watching Question Period on TV.
Follow up on casework - for example a non constituent who has a concern related to your MPP's portfolio.
Friday 10:30am: Meeting with interns and administration
12.30pm: Meeting with OLIP sponsor at their office, sometimes including a free lunch!
3:00pm Work on intern business such as planning trips, organizing receptions, writing newsletter or getting new sponsors.