My Queen’s Park Experience by Jharna Bajaj
“Walking up the steps into the epicentre of political discourse in Ontario, I could feel the buzz in the air,” said Jharna Bajaj- a second semester Government Relations student. “It was exhilarating!”
Professor Michael Ras took his class to the Ontario legislature at Queen’s Park in Downton Toronto to introduce them to the activities of the provincial government. Visits like this are a part of the hands-on experiential learning curriculum in the post-graduate certificate programs here at Seneca College.
Students were treated to a tour with an information officer who guided them around the public areas of the building. The tour also included details about the day-to-day operations of the legislators and staff in the building.
The main attraction of the tour was everyone’s favourite CPAC programming and clickbait cut up footage: Question Period. Students had the opportunity to sit in the gallery and witness first-hand the process of Provincial political discourse. Topics that were discussed during QP included education funding, accessibility, and French Language education in Ontario.
Photography and videography are prohibited to the public in the legislative chamber, but Queen’s Park has a broadcasting room where they record and monitor all of the action. Students were treated to a behind the scenes view of the voting period, which is usually prohibited to the public.
The tour of the building ended with a visit from MPP Vincent Ke of the Don Valley North riding, who was glad to see the future of Government Relations had a positive experience at Queen’s Park.
“As a Government Relations student, I for one, was captivated by the experience,” said Jharna. “From studying and reading about policy and legislation in the class room every day, to actually watching all of it come to life – being in the middle of it all was certainly a memorable experience.”
Jemimah Newton, a fellow GR student, who also volunteers with an MPP at Queen’s Park described her experience visiting the legislature. “From learning what goes on and how we lobby members on the floor, to watching them in action, the drama, the theatrics, all made it an educational experience.”
The visit was a memorable one for the entire class, and surely a day they will not soon forget. Hopefully, this is the start of some very productive Government Relations journeys!