The Senate offers a number of programs designed to give Canadian youth opportunities to learn about Parliament.
Each year, 15 university students from all over Canada are chosen to be Senate pages. They serve for a one-year period, with the possibility of renewal for a second year. All pages must be enrolled as full-time students in one of the four universities in the National Capital Region.1
Senate pages have an opportunity to gain valuable work experience and first-hand knowledge of Canadian parliamentary affairs. Pages may even be able to earn academic credit for their work in the Senate.
Senate pages support the work of senators in the Chamber and in committees by collecting and distributing official documents and by acting as messengers for the Speaker, senators and table officers (procedural clerks). Inside the Senate Chamber, pages can follow important debates and learn about the parliamentary process. They may also participate in special events, such as the opening of Parliament, the swearing-in of new senators, Royal Assent, and state funerals.
In addition to the Senate Page Program, the Senate Administration hires approximately 30 students each summer to work in a variety of directorates, including the Office of the Senate Law Clerk, Finance and Procurement, Human Resources, Communications, Information Services, and the Protective Service. Summer students gain meaningful work experience while learning about the Senate.
Through the Friends of the Senate program, the Senate works with high schools in the Ottawa–Gatineau region to provide physically and mentally challenged students with the opportunity to develop life skills that will prepare them for the working world. Students gain experience in various areas of the Senate Administration, providing assistance and support and learning new skills or improving existing ones.
Every year, the Senate Administration opens five internships, co-op positions, or work placements for college and university students. These positions help students gain the job experience they need to fulfill the practical requirements of their academic program. The students are assigned to an Administration directorate relevant to their field of study. Their positions may or may not be paid, depending on their program’s requirements.
For more information on how to apply for the Senate’s youth employment programs, please contact:
In addition to its own youth employment programs, the Senate works with the House of Commons and the Library of Parliament to help make possible the following education programs for students and teachers. Visit the websites below for more information.
Forum for Young Canadians (www.forum.ca) is a bilingual educational program aimed at giving 16- to 19-year-old high school and CEGEP students an in-depth understanding of the federal government. It also gives participants the opportunity to meet and establish friendships with other youth from across the country. Each year, some 500 students take part in the Forum for Young Canadians program.
During the week-long program, students visit Parliament, the Supreme Court, and various federal government departments and agencies. In addition to learning about our system of government directly from members of these institutions, participants have a chance to debate public policy issues with their peers. One of the high points of the program is a breakfast reception with senators and an address by the Speaker of the Senate in the Senate Chamber.
The Teachers Institute on Canadian Parliamentary Democracy (www.parl.gc.ca > About Parliament) brings together teachers from across Canada to gain first-hand insight into Parliament. Teachers bring their personal experiences back to the classroom, where they help their students better understand Canada’s democratic system. As part of each annual week-long program, approximately 80 participants have a chance to meet with senators and visit the Senate Chamber to hear from the Speaker.
1 The University of Ottawa, Carleton University, the Université du Québec en Outaouais and Saint Paul University.