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2017 Jaimie's Intern: Joudy Sarraj

Joudy studies International Relations and Ethics, Society and Law at the University of Toronto. She is interested in policy innovation, public-private partnerships, and global governance in a changing world. Joudy is drawn to Ottawa by a desire to learn about the foundations of national and international Canadian policy through practice, and to see how government can balance accountability to constituents with strides forward towards innovation and change.

Joudy has worked on reform of the humanitarian sector as a Research Intern at the Global Public Policy Institute in Berlin. At U of T, she has been involved in research on Canada in Afghanistan, the evolution of the responsibility to protect principle in the Middle East, and G7 commitments on international cooperation to counter-terrorism. She is President of the Hart House Debates Committee and Head of Non-Resident Affairs at Trinity College. She is passionate participant in several refugee support initiatives, serving as an interpreter with Lifeline Syria in Toronto, and assisting with supplementary educational programming at Small Projects, an NGO for urban refugees in central Istanbul.

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2017 Jaimie's Intern: Nicole Spadotto

Nicole Spadotto is a native Torontonian completing her final year at McGill University in Joint Honours Political Science and English, with a minor in History. While at McGill, Nicole has earned many awards for scholarly merit and has had journalistic and academic papers published. Nicole is passionate about civil activism and international affairs, and has facilitated fundraising campaigns for the Native Women’s Shelter in Montreal and to build an all-girls school in Sierra Leone. Nicole has also represented McGill athletically, winning the Canadian University National Championship in 2014 while playing varsity hockey with the McGill Martlets. 

Prior to being a Jaimie’s Intern, Nicole worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers where she analyzed global and Canadian data to help develop a salient report on the Canadian utilities sector. Nicole also interned at TELUS, where she worked intensively with multilingual, multicultural campaigns and with the legal team. In September, Nicole will be entering law school in Canada where she hopes to build a career centered around human rights, refugee law, and foreign relations.

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2017 Jaimie's Intern: Zac Smith

Zac Smith is currently finishing his Honours BA in Political Science from the University of King's College, Halifax. Throughout his undergraduate degree, Zac had studied political institutions and how they are perceived by the citizens they serve.

Academically and throughout his life, Zac is deeply engaged with the issues facing Canada's Aboriginal peoples.

Passionate about the Canadian North, Zac has canoed from Yellowknife, NWT to Baker Lake, NU. Last summer he worked in Arviat, Nunavut, where he was a literacy camp counsellor with Frontier College. In addition, he has been a research assistant for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and a tree planter.

During his spare time, Zac volunteers with new Canadians and inmates to improve their literacy skills. He also draws great stick people. 

Zac is absolutely thrilled and deeply honoured to have been chosen as one of this year's Jaimie Anderson Parliamentary Interns.

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Jaimie's Intern Jeremy Ryant summarizes his time on the hill

One thing has become apparent to me after spending four months interning on Parliament Hill. There is no “I” in “Government”. In other words, I have learned that politics is a team sport and that representing the public will is not something that can be achieved by any person alone. Instead, my time in Marco Mendicino’s office has shown me that effective governing requires people to work together; to constantly communicate, coordinate, and cooperate with one another.

The notion that politics is a team sport has been demonstrated to me time and time again over the past several weeks. From constantly liaising with staff in Marco’s Constituency Office, to organizing events, to crafting speeches, to doing research assignments, Marco and his staff have allowed me to witness the power that a group of dedicated people possess when they work together towards a shared goal.

And work we did. A particular highlight of being part of team Marco has been learning how to work effectively in a variety of new and, at times, unfamiliar settings. In mid-July, for instance, I was tasked with organizing a Climate Change Town Hall in Marco’s riding, Eglinton-Lawrence (colloquially referred to as ‘EgLaw’). The Town Hall was particularly interesting to help organize because it allowed me to see how deeply the residents of EgLaw care for their community. The Town Hall also gave me an idea of how much work is involved in bringing people together; and more importantly of how much a community benefits when its members are given the chance to engage with their elected representatives in robust discussion and respectful debate. It has been through spending time in Marco’s riding that I have seen democracy at work and become familiar with a once unfamiliar corner of Canada – and for that I will always be grateful.

I have also been lucky enough to interact with a larger parliamentary team throughout my experience. Beyond forging wonderful relationships with a number of MPs and their staff, I have had the chance to meet with a few big names from “Team Journalism” and “Team Bureaucracy”. Together, by interacting with people from different professional backgrounds and skillsets, I have gotten a holistic taste of what it means to devote one’s self to public service. I have learned that “Team Hill Office” cannot operate without “Team Constituency Office” and vice versa; that “Team House of Commons” relies “Team Journalism”; and that “Team Government” works alongside “Team Opposition” more than one might think. Indeed, my internship experience has illustrated to me the importance of teamwork in serving the public. 

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Larissa Parker shares an update on her Summer as a Jaimie's Intern

I have recently returned from my trip into the riding of Timmins-James Bay, which graced me with wonderful people, beautiful scenery, and awesome weather. I was able to visit the city of Timmins and surrounding towns like Porcupine, Cochrane, and Iroquois Falls, as well as drive through many others like Matheson, Val Gagné, and Smooth Rock Falls.  

Back in 2004, Charlie ran on a platform of providing service to the entire riding, a region larger than Great Britain. At the time, many areas had never seen service before. For this reason, Charlie currently has four constituency hubs: Timmins, Cochrane, Iroquois Falls and Kirkland Lake. I visited three of these offices and was amazed by the amount of case work that the constituency assistants are dealing with every day. I think Team Angus’s dedication to helping everyone and anyone is incredible. I have learned that there is no greater feeling than the gratitude that comes from successfully helping a constituent who is need (and because of this, I have been picking up a lot more constituency work nowadays!). To me, this is what politics should be all about. You are elected to represent, serve, and defend your people and that is exactly what I saw in the riding of Timmins-James Bay.

But my trip to the riding was not all work. Not only did I learn how to drive an ATV, but I got to meet two polar bears, road trip with Charlie, enjoy beautiful Northern sunsets every night, and much more; I was getting a “true Northern Ontario adventure”. 

A big highlight of the trip was travelling to Peawanuck, which is a small First Nation reserve 777km North of Ottawa on the Winisk river. In 1986, the Winisk Flood completely devastated the community, forcing them to relocate on higher ground. 30 years later, I got the opportunity to celebrate this anniversary. There was lots of food, song and dance, along with many celebratory competitions like skeet shooting, and sport tournaments. As the picture below illustrates, although it was only 8 degrees there, it was still so so warm.  

I am so grateful that this internship provided me with the opportunity to explore the riding. This trip taught me a lot about Northern Ontario and allowed me to apply the work and research that I have been doing in Ottawa to work on the ground in the riding. I feel more apart of Team Angus than ever and I’m sure that that will make my last month here all the more valuable!

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