Orangeville student heading to Queens Park Legislative Page Program

April 20, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Sam Odrowski

A local Grade 8 student at Maples Academy in Amaranth is embarking on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, providing her with a hands-on learning experience about the inner workings of provincial government at Queens Park. 

Kate Demczur, 13, is among the roughly 150 Grade 7 and 8 students chosen from across the province to participate in Ontario’s Legislative Page Program. 

These students earned their spot in the program by submitting an essay outlining their achievements, community involvement and suitability for fulfilling the roles of a Legislative Page.

Those roles include serving as a messenger on the floor of the Legislative Chamber, meeting with parliamentary figures and learning about Ontario’s parliamentary system.

Kate told the Citizen she is interested in provincial politics and looks forward to learning more about what happens behind the scenes as bills are debated and passed. 

“I’m definitely excited to get to spend a lot more time with the kids that we met at orientation, and just be part of something unique,” she said. “People I’ve talked to about the program say they met friends that they have for the rest of their life.”

Kate added, “I think it’ll be nice just to have a bit of a different experience. It’s not something that you can just sign up and go to do anytime.”

A typical day of the program will see Kate arrive to Queen’s Park at 8 a.m. in uniform to prepare for the debates that morning. She’ll take classes about the legislative process and mathematics and meet with key legislative players such as the party leaders and the Speaker of the House.

Kate will be living in Toronto with relatives over the next month as she participates in the spring session of provincial parliament. The program wraps up for Kate on May 18.

Her father, Michael Demczur, said, “It’s a nice send off for Grade 8.”

He added that he’s excited for his daughter to be in the program to learn more about the processes of the provincial government.

“It gives her a better understanding of how legislation works,” Michael said. “Many people, even though they have some notional idea of how bills get passed, or how things get made, this is more of a front row seat for a period of time.”

He added, “It’s also a great opportunity just to learn a lot of Ontario’s history. That [Ontario Legislative] building itself has so many portraits of people and has its own storied history.”

The present challenge for Kate is to learn all 124 MPPs’ names, ridings and ministries. It’s a lot to remember, but she’s eager to learn and get started as a Legislative Page.

Anyone interested in participating in the program for next year can mark Jun. 15 in their calendar as the deadline to apply for the fall session, and Nov. 15 is the deadline to apply for the spring session. 

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