This article was provided by the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), an organization that was established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province.
This year’s group of Ontario Legislative Interns appears to have taken on a keen interest in mining and mineral industry issues. Recently, two Ontario Mining Association staff members met with the 10 participants in the 2013-2014 Ontario Legislative Intern Program (OLIP) at Queen’s Park to discuss mining in Ontario and politics.
This program was established in 1975 and it welcomed the first group of interns at Queen’s Park in September 1976. OLIP is administered by the Canadian Political Science Association and it is supported financially by a grant from the Legislative Assembly and donations from private sponsors including several OMA member companies. It is open to candidates who are recent graduates of Canadian universities with an interest in and knowledge of the legislative process.
The program is designed to provide backbench Members of Provincial Parliament with highly qualified assistants. In turn, the interns gain practical experience in the day-to-day workings of the Legislature and supplement their academic training. They are expected to build on these experiences when embarking upon careers in public and private life and contribute to increasing public knowledge and appreciation of the work of the Legislature. The Interns 10-month term is divided into working for a government MPP for half the term and for an opposition MPP for the other half.
Though second term placements haven’t been officially announced yet, in the first term two Interns gained an inside look at mining. Emily Barrette worked with Norm Miller, MPP for Parry Sound – Muskoka. He is the Progressive Conservative critic for Northern Development and Mines and Aboriginal Affairs. In the past, he also served as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Northern Development and Mines.
Also, Intern Aaron Denhartog worked with John Fraser, MPP Ottawa South, and Parliamentary Assistant to both the Minister of Northern Development and Mines and the Minister of Natural Resources. Both these placements quickly brought Emily and Aaron into the heart of Ontario’s mining sector from the political perspective.
Also, as a group, the Interns visited the Toronto office of OMA member company Vale. Over the years, several OMA have been sponsors of OLIP including Barrick and Glencore (Xstrata). Vale is a lead sponsor of OLIP.
“The OLIP is providing first-class experiences to Ontario’s best and brightest emerging civic leaders and Vale is proud to support such a high-quality program that aligns with our commitment to enhancing education in the countries in which we operate,” said the company. “Vale looks forward to watching the program grow over the next several years and we wish each of 2013-14 Interns the best of luck.”
A roster of OLIP graduates sees representatives working in government, academia, law, journalism, private sector consulting, industry organizations and corporate positions. Ask OLIP alumni Phil Bousquet (1993-1994), Manager of Industrial and Government Relations at the OMA, and Peter McBride (1976-1977), Manager of Communications at the OMA, about the program. They are two people who benefited from it and who enjoyed sharing past experiences with the current OLIP members.
Miners and mining companies are responsible, solution-providing partners in society. They do more than find, extract and process minerals essential to our modern lifestyles. These companies are economic enterprises operated by men and women who are members of society and community builders. They add great value to the quality of life in their communities and beyond.