Biographies of Past Interns

2016 Interns

LARISSA PARKER

Larissa Parker recently graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honours BA in Ethics, Society & Law and Environmental Studies. Larissa spent her summer in the office of Charlie Angus, MP for Timmins-James Bay and NDP critic for Indigenous Affairs. 

Prior to being a Jaimie's Intern, Larissa worked at the Ontario Energy Board and in the office of Toronto City Councillor Gord Perks. Further, throughout her studies Larissa worked with both the G8 and G20 Research Groups and focused on climate change and refugee related commitments. Larissa was also President of the Environmental Society and President and Co-founder of Trinity Against Sexual Assault and Harassment at her college. 

Last year, Larissa attended COP21 with her University’s student delegation and has developed a consequent keen interest in working on global climate governance challenges. She is particularly passionate about carbon markets and adaptation policy. Larissa is now pursuing an MSc in Environmental Governance at the University of Oxford to study these topics further.

LYDIA BLOIS

Lydia Blois is from Saint John, New Brunswick. She completed an Honours BA in International Relations and double minors in Women and Gender Studies and English Literature at Mount Allison University in 2014. Lydia was the coordinator of Mount Allison’s chapter of World University Service of Canada’s Student Refugee Program where she facilitated the sponsorship of refugees to become permanent residents. Lydia’s interest in international affairs led her to co-coordinate Mount Allison’s Centre for International Studies, a student run organization aimed at facilitating dialogue on pressing global issues outside of the classroom.

Lydia interned in the office of the Hon. Lisa Raitt, official opposition finance critic and MP for Milton. Lydia is currently in her second year of law school, pursuing a JD, in the Common Law program at the University of Ottawa. She is also working pro bono at South Ottawa Community Legal Services in immigration law, as well as part of the Ottawa Refugee Hub Refugee Sponsorship Support Program where she works with sponsorship experts, pro bono lawyers, and other law students to offer direct support to Canadians seeking to sponsor refugees.

JEREMY RYANT

Originally from Winnipeg, MB, Jeremy Ryant recently graduated with a BA from Dalhousie University, where he received the University Medal and First-Class Honours in Political Science. During his undergraduate degree, Jeremy explored the nature and scope of Prime Ministerial power in Canadian politics. Prior to being a Jaimie’s Intern, Jeremy worked as a Food Security Policy Intern at Food Rights Alliance – a nationally recognized NGO in Kampala, Uganda. While at Dalhousie, Jeremy was a member of the Dalhousie Tigers Varsity Swim Team and regularly volunteered with a number of community-based initiatives in Halifax.

Jeremy spent an unforgettable summer in the office of Marco Mendicino, MP for Eglinton-Lawrence. In September 2016, Jeremy began his JD at Dalhousie University’s Schulich School of Law. He currently volunteers for the Right to Know Coalition of Nova Scotia – a Civil Society Organization that advocates for improved access to information, open government and transparency within Nova Scotia's provincial government. He also volunteers for the Dalhousie Journal of Legal Studies and Swim Nova Scotia. Jeremy looks forward to using his legal education to advance his interest in government, politics, public service and social justice.

2015 Interns

David Cosolo

David Cosolo recently graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honours BA with High Distinction in International Relations, Political Science, and American Studies. Prior to being a Jaimie’s Intern, David worked with the U.S. State Department at the U.S. Consulate General in Calgary and for three years with TD Canada Trust. As an undergraduate, he worked with the G8 Research Group at the University of Toronto and conducted overseas research projects at the G7 Summit in Brussels and in Buenos Aires. 

David spent his summer in the office of Rodger Cuzner, MP for Cape Breton-Canso. In September 2015, David began his MSc in International Relations at the London School of Economics and started working at the International Centre for Security Analysis where he researches nuclear non-proliferation and energy developments in the Asia-Pacific region. He is passionate about energy policy, natural resource governance, and Canada’s wilderness and national parks. 

Aaron joshua pinto

Aaron Joshua Pinto was born in Bahrain and came to Canada with his family after the Gulf War. He recently completed his Honours Bachelor of Arts at Western University, focusing on International Relations and French. Years of engagement in civil society issues have taken him from the bustling crèches of post-Apartheid townships in Cape Town to the polling stations in Ukraine’s villages all the way to the hilltop hamlets of indígena in Eastern Colombia. Upon returning from a year’s exchange in Europe and a development programme in Central Russia, Aaron co-founded the Canadian Youth Think Tank, the first knowledge hub of its kind in Canada that publishes youth written articles and op-eds on public policy issues. In 2014, he was elected as Co-Chair of the Mississauga City Youth Council and he was also selected to be Canada’s Youth Ambassador to the Organization of Security and Co-operation in Europe. For his work in the community, Aaron was recognized with the Queen’s Young Leaders Award from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Aaron served as a Jaimie Intern in the office of Bernard Trottier, MP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and for La Francophonie. In March 2016, Aaron will be heading to Azerbaijan to participate as a Young Leader at the 4th Global Baku Forum. Aaron intends to pursue a career in international law and justice, and eventually in the Foreign Service.

Lana belber

Lana Belber is a born-and-raised Montrealer. She studied Liberal Arts at Dawson College and completed her B.A. at McGill University in Anthropology and Political Science, graduating on the Dean’s Honour List. During her undergraduate degree, she worked to facilitate cultural exchange between McGill students and Montreal’s refugee communities. She got her first taste of the public service as a student employee of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, where she had the opportunity to play an active role in the citizenship process for many new Canadians. She is passionate about equity in politics, having been a coordinator of McGill’s Women in House program – a program mandated to improve the representation of women in politics.  

Lana spent an incredible summer on Parliament Hill in the office of Andrew Cash, MP. She is now in her second year of studies at McGill University’s Faculty of Law. She volunteers at the Legal Information Clinic, providing legal information and promoting access to justice among McGill students and the greater Montreal community. She remains active as an advocate for the inclusion of a plurality of voices in decision-making bodies, and aims to use her education to foster dialogue between grassroots and formal bodies of social change.

2014 Interns

Jordan Deagle

Jordan grew up in the small farming community of Consort, Alberta. He left home at the age of 15 to play in the Western Hockey League, for the Medicine Hat Tigers, Prince George Cougars and Red Deer Rebels. He used his WHL scholarship to pursue a double major in journalism and political science at Carleton University, where he was an assistant captain of the varsity hockey team, Dean’s List and Academic All Canadian for all four years. Last summer he moved to Washington on a fellowship with the Washington Centre and simultaneously interned at the CBC DC bureau under the tutelage of Neil Macdonald. Away from the classroom he is the co-founder of an organization that raises money to build classrooms in Burkina Faso.  

Jordan served as a Jaimie Intern in the office of Scott Brison, MP. This September, Jordan will be heading to the University of Toronto as a masters candidate in the field of international relations. His thesis will centre on the notion of humanitarian intervention and its relationship with state sovereignty.

Michelle Lahey  

Michelle is a proud Cape Bretoner, who earned her BA at Cape Breton University where she was President of the Student’s Union, Vice Chair of Students Nova Scotia, Dean’s List, and served on the University’s Board of Governors and Senate. She co-founded a music school for the Fortress of Louisbourg, teaching children how to play 18th century drums and fifes. She is a fifer herself. She has received 5 academic awards and scholarships, has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity in Cape Breton and was a childcare volunteer at the Native Women’s Shelter in Montreal. Michelle spent her summer in the office of John Williamson, MP.  This fall she is pursuing her studies in second year Law at McGill.  

Piper Riley Thompson

Piper hails from Winnipeg. Currently studying at Mount Allison, she was selected as a delegate to the Vicker-Verdun Annual Lecture in Canadian Studies at Carleton, presented a Tedx inspired talk on mental health at the U4 Symposium at Bishop’s and is a research intern with the school’s Department of Canadian studies. She serves on Mount Allison’s Senate and the Student Administrative Council. In the summer of 2013, she had an opportunity to work in the Manitoba Legislature. Off campus, she volunteers twice a week at a nursing home, teaches swimming, is a classically trained pianist, is active in musical theatre and drama. 

After a life changing summer on the Hill in the office of Peggy Nash, MP, Piper is back at Mount Allison University entering the third year of her undergraduate studies in Canadian Studies and Sociology.

2013 Interns

Julia Deutsch

From Montréal, Julia Deutsch graduated from the University of Toronto, with an Honours B.A., Peace and Conflict Studies. She spent time last summer studying at Oxford and at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She’s been a Forum for Young Canadians delegate, tour guide for the Library of Parliament, a co-director for the annual Trudeau Centre Peace, Conflict and Justice Conference, an award winning debater, and is a research assistant on human rights issues for two professors at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. Fluently bilingual, 

Julia interned for the summer in the office of the Hon. Michelle Rempel, PC, MP. She began her studies at McGill University Law School in Fall 2013.

Jeanelle Dundas

A native of Ottawa, Jeanelle Dundas graduated with an Honours B.A. in Political Studies and Economics from Queen’s University. She has been a past President of the Queen’s University Policy Association, was a research assistant for a doctoral thesis, has worked as a Parliamentary Guide, and is fluent in English, French and Spanish (and working on her German!). She has spent time at Stanford University completing a vocal jazz and piano composition residency, and has studied classical voice and piano under The Royal Conservatory of Music. 

Jeanelle spent the summer on the Hill in the office of Dominc LeBlanc, MP. In the Fall of 2013, she entered her first year of law school at McGill University.

Patrick Joyce

A bilingual New Brunswicker, Patrick Joyce graduated from Mount Allison University with a Bachelor of Arts, double majoring in Sociology/Anthropology and Psychology. While there, he served three terms as an executive for the Mount Allison Students’ Union, including two as President, and a term as Chair of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations. During his time at Mount Allison, Pat led the campus chapters of ‘Movember’ and the Relay for Life, and even managed to complete his first triathlon. 

Pat spent his summer as a JAPI intern in the office of Nathan Cullen, MP. He has returned to his home province to begin work as Executive Director of the New Brunswick Student Alliance.

2012 Interns

Sarah Stothart

Sarah graduated Queen’s University, with majoring in Political Studies, (Minor in Gender Studies). She spent her summer in the office of Marc Garneau, Liberal House Leader and MP for Westmount–Ville-Marie.

Sarah believes strongly in the value of participation and outreach in the Queen’s, Kingston and Ottawa communities. She dedicated several hours weekly to tutoring inmates at Collins Bay Institution, answering the emergency phone line at the Sexual Assault Centre Kingston, and spending time with seniors in a local residence. She was an executive member of two Queen’s political clubs, including a start-up intiative designed to attract more youth and women to politics.

Sarah’s interest in politics is particularly in the areas of international affairs and law. She is pursuing a law degree and hopes to use her political experience to advocate for social justice and human rights issues.

Erin Flanagan

Erin is a graduate of University of New Brunswick, Chemical Engineering (Minor in Public Policy). She interned for Megan Leslie, MP for Halifax, NDP Deputy Leader and Critic for the Environment.

Social justice has been a core theme of Erin’s professional experiences, both in Canada and abroad. She was a Social Change Fellow with Engineers Without Borders Canada, where she researched Canadian aid and organized a grassroots advocacy event on aid policy. She has also worked in Ghana with the United States Agency for International Development, where she supported subsistence farmers in their efforts to build stronger relationships with the private sector.

Erin was drawn to the Hill by a desire to understand how politics shape, enable and constrain the formation of public policy. Looking forward, Erin is excited to advocate for three core issues: democratic reform, environmental stewardship, and international development. She plans to use her engineering degree to create change in Canadian public policy.

Connor Bays

Originally from Cochrane, Alberta, Connor is a graduate from McGill University. At McGill, Connor double-majored in economics and history, and was awarded Dean’s List graduation honours for finishing in the top 10% of his faculty. In addition to his studies, he competed nationally for McGill’s varsity track and field team, travelled on exchange to the Netherlands, and co-founded a community bike co-op. Outside of McGill, Connor has enjoyed a wide range of summer experiences. He worked as a policy intern with the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association in Calgary and as a corporate strategy analyst with Loblaw Companies in Ontario. In the summer of 2010, he initiated and completed a three-month internship with a grassroots microfinance NGO in rural Bangladesh.

Connor spent the summer in the office of James Rajotte, M.P., getting a first hand view of the workings of the Finance Committee and budget discussions. Through his academic and work experiences, Connor has seen the crucial impact of public policy on society. Building on an academic foundation in public sector economics, he hopes to eventually contribute to the formulation of public policy in either a political, academic or advocacy role.

2011 Interns

Alexandra Day

Alex spent her summer internship in the office of Chris Alexander, MP. A native of Toronto, she attended Neuchatel Junior College in Switzerland, and then went on to graduate with a B.A. in Political Science from Dalhousie University and a Masters in International Relations from University of Exeter, UK.

Alex has travelled extensively in Europe, Russia and the Middle East. In her spare time, Alex is an avid skier and certified scuba diver.

Rhiannon McCluskey

Rhiannon spent her internship in the office of Justin Trudeau, MP. A native of Vancouver, B.C., she was admitted to the National Ballet School at the age of 11 years, where she completed her elementary and high school education while enrolled in the school’s rigorous dance program. She is graduated from University of Toronto where she completed her B.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies (Minor in Political Science).

In addition to her extraordinary artistic and academic achievements, Rhiannon is an active volunteer in her community and remains a passionate advocate for social justice.