The House of Commons Page Program

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By Mary Clements

We have very exciting news that one of our Petites Pommes has just been accepted to the House of Commons Page Program!

Each year, the program accepts only 40 students from across Canada to work for one year on a part-time basis while they are enrolled in their first-year university. During their time, they will support parliamentary democracy by providing a range of services to the members of parliament, participate in educational programs and and participating in ceremonial events. It’s an incredible opportunity to see first-hand and learn about the work being done in our government everyday.

To be eligible for this program, students must be able to orally communicate fluently in both official languages and are formally evaluated by the House of Commons.

Our student Taryn began the application process in the fall of 2021. Before her second language evaluation and interview earlier this year, she wanted to make sure she was fully prepared so we scheduled sessions specifically to practice some mock interviews.

An important aspect of being a page is impartiality. The House of Commons administration is a non-partisan workforce where respect, support and promotion of the democratic process are an organizational value. To help prepare her for this in the interview, I would surprise her with very polarizing debate questions and challenge her to answer neutrally. We had a lot of fun with this activity since I would try and get her in a corner and she would have to talk her way out of it!

This program is a wonderful example of the amazing opportunities that being bilingual can unlock and why one of our values is to provide excellent French learning that helps build students confidence so when it comes time for students to push themselves out of their comfort zone and aim for big goals, they are ready.

Taryn, we are so proud of you!

Above: A screenshot from our online sessions this past January.
Below: Some pictures from our Les Petites Pommes archives of Taryn at our in-person camp in August 2013! I can’t believe that many of the students from that session are in first and second year university now!