Local student returns from Legislative Page in Queen Park

June 15, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Sam Odrowski

A Grade 8 student at Maple Academy in Amaranth recently returned from the Queen’s Park Legislative Page Program, where she met with various Members of Provincial Parliament (MPP) and Premier Doug Ford.  

Kate Demczur, 13, who lives in Orangeville, was selected as one of the 150 students in Grades 7 or 8 in Ontario who participated in the program this year. The students accepted into the program were selected based on an essay they submitted, highlighting their achievements, community involvement and suitability for fulfilling the roles of a Legislative Page.

Her duties included serving as a messenger on the floor of the Legislative Chamber, meeting with parliamentary figures and learning about Ontario’s parliamentary system. 

Kate said participating in the four-week program, which concluded May 18, was a lot more fun than she expected, and it was interesting to hear about the different issues that MPPs would debate during Question Period.

“It was interesting to see what points they brought up and when it came to education or when it came to housing, what the opposition would talk about, as opposed to what the [sitting] government would talk about.”

Having a front-row seat in the legislature, Kate said she saw the political side of the debates in action, with the sitting government avoiding topics the opposition thinks they are doing poorly at and focusing on issues where they’re making progress.

Kate had lunch with Dufferin–Caledon MPP Sylvia Jones, who’s the deputy premier and minister of health, as well as other politicians from Queens Park. She also visited Premier Doug Ford and discussed the Legislative Page Program with him.

“He said ‘you’re doing such a great job,’ and that our group was doing well,” said Kate of her conversation with Ford. “We didn’t get to talk a lot because he had a lot of other people to talk to, but it was nice that we got time to say ‘hi’ to him.”

Kate said her own political opinions were shaped during her tenure as a Legislative Page. She said it’s interesting to hear from all sides because, in everyday life, people usually only listen to those they agree with and can become biased. 

“It’s interesting to hear other people with opposing views from all parts of the chamber, talking and giving speeches,” said Kate. “They all talked fairly well, even if you didn’t agree with them.”

She added that hearing MPPs discuss issues and possible solutions created a positive form of debate instead of talking over each other or shouting.

Kate’s father, Michael Demczur, said the Queen Park Legislative Page Program was an excellent way for his daughter to finish her elementary years.

“It’s just a very nice time in her life as she’s moving to high school. This was sort of almost rites of passage. In the four weeks we were down there, she really sort of came ahead,” he said. “It was very different schedule than school. It’s more like work. We were up at 6 a.m. She was, every other day, in the house [legislature] until 6 p.m. It was quite an experience.”

Kate lived in Toronto for much of the four-week program. She said taking the subway and getting emersed in the city was a fun experience. 

She told the Citizen she’d encourage anyone interested in politics or having a unique Grade 7 and 8 experience to apply for the Queen Park Legislative Page Program.

“If you’re interested in having a bit of responsibility and if you’re motivated to have a role in something bigger, I feel like you would enjoy it,” Kate said. “Also, it was very fun. So I would recommend to anyone interested in that kind of thing.”

Visit to learn more and view the timelines to send in an application.

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