Thursday, June 25, 2009

Oh Canada!

It's been a rather hectic last few weeks - finishing up my Fellowship at Harvard and preparing, and then coming to Ottawa to begin my summer working with Member of Parliament, Martha Hall Findlay. But alas, I am here and am thrilled to be so!

My first memorable moment was walking up the rather daunting steps of the Confederation Building on Parliament Hill, which houses Martha's office. I remember doing a tour of Parliament Hill the first time I visited Ottawa, in 1991, as a representative of Alberta Safety Patrollers (ha!), during which I clearly remember standing on the steps of "Center Block" (the main building on the Hill), thinking how amazing it would be to work inside these hallowed walls. So, it was really a thrill for me as I approached the building last week to start my internship.

I will be working with a great team of other young and politically-interested Canadians. Anne-Sophie is the office manager and has an impressive resume of working in Quebec and Ottawa as a policy advisor. Puneet is a lawyer from Toronto who gave up his legal ways to try out policy making for Martha. Then there is Elizabeth , a political science student at the University of Ottawa, and of course, Martha - a lawyer, turned business woman, turned national leader.

The office is as I had imagined it would be - an impressive view onto the Hill, rather scrunched staffers with desks covered with too many things to do, CBC (the national public news station) on the TV around the clock, and a regular ring of telephones keeping everyone rather busy.

I am working on a few of projects for Martha and the team - will fill in the details here once I get into the meat of things. After an exciting start, I am now off to Toronto to spend a week in Martha's constituency office in Willowdale! Very excited. The team thought it was important to give me the experience to work with both the constituent-side of things in Toronto, as well as the more policy-related side of things in Ottawa. Can't wait - am leaving tonight for a 5-hour drive to the big T.O.!

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