I echo many of the previous interns in expressing how incredible this last month has been, and also what a whirlwind. After my first year of law school in Ottawa it has been amazing to go from studying the legislative process and procedure in class and walking by the Hill, to working on in the office of the Hon. Lisa Raitt, Conservative Finance Critic, and seeing the process in action. Every day is different and unpredictable; I feel lucky every time I walk through the front doors of Center Block to watch Question Period, or visit the opposition lobby, or sit in on a committee meeting.
The combination of what takes place on the Hill and then the events outside of working hours are what make the internship such a well-rounded and special experience. Working for Lisa Raitt has been incredible. She does not stop; she is constantly going from her constituency in Milton, Ontario, which I look forward to visiting in the coming months, to Ottawa, and her schedule is full to the brim. It has been great to learn from her as she asks tough questions of the government in the Standing Committee on Finance as well as in Question Period, and to sit and meet with her constituents and interest groups.
I have loved sitting in on the Standing Committee on Finance and watching department officials, KPMG executives, the finance Minister and other interest groups being questioned in relation to the Government’s recent budget. I am constantly learning more about different areas of our country, as well as different areas of politics through committee meetings, meetings with interest groups, and the Private Members Bills that other Members have drafted.
While I would consider myself a political science nerd I have never been so connected or immersed in Canadian politics in my life; I am constantly watching CPAC in the office, reading any and all newspaper articles about finance and politics, sitting in on committee meetings, watching votes, and Question Period, and reading the giant House of Commons Procedure and Practice book. What has made my first month of this internship so special is that the work on the Hill is rounded off with experiences off the Hill. Some of the highlights so far have been going to the Travers Debates, and taking a tour of the CBC studio to watch Power and Politics being taped. I can only imagine what the next three months will hold for the other interns and me.