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Daniel Milone takes part in Ontario’s Legislative Page program

June 18, 2020   ·   0 Comments

Written By PAULA BROWN

Could you imagine having to memorize the names, faces, riding, and seating of 107 MPPs in Queen’s Park?

This was one of the first jobs that 12-year-old Daniel Milone had to learn when he became a page at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. He spent four weeks in the role, starting on Feb. 18 and concluding on March 12. 

“I really didn’t want to mess up because I was really nervous,” said Milone, talking about his first week in the program. “I thought everything was a big deal if I messed up, but later on through all the weeks, it was just second hand to me and I knew what to do then.”

Daniel, a resident of East Garafraxa, was selected from the Dufferin-Caledon riding to be a Legislative Page in Queen’s Park as part of a program put together by the provincial government. The Page Program is for students in grades 7 and 8 who serve as messengers on the Legislative Chamber floor, meet parliamentary figures and learn about the Ontario government. 

“It gives young people an amazing opportunity that frankly no other non-elected citizen of Ontario gets and that is literally to be on the legislative floor, listen to debates and watch the interaction between MPPs,” said Dufferin-Caledon MPP Sylvia Jones. “Their knowledge level of civic engagement just goes up exponentially when they participate in the page program.” 

“There is such value in experiential learning,” said Stephanie Milone, Daniel’s mother. “If you were learning about how government works strictly in a classroom and from a textbook it may not have as much of that excitement.” 

From day-to-day pages carry out activities such as delivering messages and water for MPPs in the Chamber, taking classes in legislative process and math, and meeting legislative members, including party leaders and the Speaker of the House. 

And so, what was Daniel’s favourite part of the four-week experience? 

“My favourite part in the program was meeting Doug Ford officially in his office, and I got to sit in his chair,” he said. 

Daniel isn’t the first Milone to be part of the provincial page program. His older brother Benjamin took part in the program a few years ago. He also might not be the last either, with little sister Grace interested in applying after hearing what her brothers had done. 

The application process isn’t an easy one though. Students have to have the approval of their teachers and principals, an average of 80 percent or higher, and they have to get along with their peers and adults. An essay portion of the application also has to outline their achievements, involvements and suitability for the program. 

In his letter Daniel said he wrote about why he wanted to the program, finishing grade 7, swimming with the Orangeville Otters, how he plays the piano and is part of musical theatre. 

On the overall experience Daniel said, “It was a really great experience and I think I changed from the beginning to the end, and I learnt a lot as well.” 

For more information on the Legislative Page program go to pageprogram@ola.org or call 416-325-7457. 



         

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