B.C. Legislative Internship Program

B.C. Legislative Internship Program

​Background

The British Columbia Legislative Internship Program was established in January 1976, patterned after the Parliamentary Internship Program introduced in the Canadian House of Commons in 1969. Faculty members of the then three major universities in British Columbia initiated the program. The program continues to be advised by the University of British Columbia, the University of Victoria, Simon Fraser University and the University of Northern British Columbia.

The program is open to B.C. residents who have a recent Bachelor's Degree from a Canadian University.

​Objectives

The program enables Canadian university graduates to supplement their academic training by observing the daily workings of the Legislature first-hand and by providing Members of the Legislative Assembly with additional assistance during the parliamentary session. The ministry and caucus assignments are designed to provide exposure to public policy-making and legislative processes. Interns will acquire skills and knowledge they can apply in their chosen careers and future life experiences. In the long term, it is expected that Interns will contribute to a greater public understanding and appreciation of our system of parliamentary government.

​Organization

BCLIP Logo-Black.jpg

​The Legislative Assembly of British Columbia currently funds twelve Intern positions targeted for the benefit of B.C. residents. The program commences in January of each year and runs for approximately 25 weeks, until the end of June. Actual program start and completion dates are determined each year by the Program Director.

The program begins with an orientation week where Interns meet with elected and appointed officials of the Legislature. Following the orientation, Interns are placed with a sponsoring ministry for four weeks with a Mentor. These assignments provide an opportunity for the Interns to learn about the mandate and scope of the ministry as well as to conduct research in policy and planning areas. Interns often have the opportunity to assist with projects related to legislation for the upcoming parliamentary session.

Following the ministry assignment, Interns are assigned to a party caucus. Caucus assignments vary and may include writing speeches, private member’s statements and questions for Question Period, as well as researching topics within the area of responsibility of a Member of the Legislative Assembly.


Interns are encouraged to attend Question Period and parliamentary committee meetings of the Legislature as often as their assignments allow. At the end of the program, Interns are expected to prepare a newsletter about their internship experience for distribution throughout the Legislative Assembly and to all alumni.

Please Note: During provincial election years, the format of the B.C. Legislative Internship Program will be revised to meet the needs of the Members.

Administration

LG photo at Govt House.jpg​The B.C. Legislative Internship Program is sponsored by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. The Academic Director is Dr. Patrick J. Smith of Simon Fraser University. The Program Director is Karen Aitken of the Parliamentary Education Office at the Legislative Assembly.

 

Please Note: Due to the nature of assignments within the Legislative Assembly, the Directors of the B.C. Legislative Internship Program may be required to modify the program to meet the Assembly’s needs. It may also be necessary to make decisions concerning assignments of individual Interns and their place in the B.C. Legislative Internship Program. All decisions with regard to the program remain the responsibility of the Directors.

Benefits to the Intern

The benefits of participating in the program are both educational and professional. Interns gain exposure to the field of public affairs during their ministry and legislative assignments. In addition, they are able to observe the daily workings of the Legislature and supplement their theoretical knowledge about the role of the provincial legislature and parliamentary democracy through direct participation in the daily routine of Members of the Legislative Assembly.

Arrangements may be made to obtain credit towards a Master of Arts Degree in political science at the University of Victoria, Simon Fraser University, the University of British Columbia and the University of Northern British Columbia. To be eligible for credit, candidates must have made all necessary arrangements with the Graduate Student Advisor of the political science department involved, and must have been accepted for degree candidacy by the relevant graduate school prior to commencing their internship.

Applications

To apply to the B.C. Legislative Internship Program, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • B.C. resident;
  • Canadian citizenship or landed immigrant status;
  • complete a first Bachelor's Degree from a Canadian university; and,
  • the first Bachelor's Degree requirements must have been completed within the immediate 2 year period prior to the start of the internship program.

Application is typically made online during the student's final undergraduate year; however, applicants must have completed all of their first Bachelor's Degree requirements prior to participating in the program. Applicants are expected to have a reasonable familiarity with the governing process of British Columbia and are expected to participate effectively in assignments with any party caucus.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that their application is complete by the deadline date. This includes:

  • attaching their personal resume;
  • arranging for official sealed academic transcripts for all credits obtained towards degree completion - from both Colleges and Universities attended - to be sent directly to the B.C. Legislative Internship Program from the institution's Registrar office;
  • asking two (2) academic professors/instructors to electronically submit a confidential Academic Referee Evaluation form on their behalf using the applicant’s individual tracking number; and,
  • asking one (1) work/volunteer supervisor to electronically submit the Work/Volunteer Reference form by using the applicant's individual tracking number.

Please Note: All online applications and supporting documentation must be complete prior to the application deadline. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Selection

Applications are screened and short-listed by the Program and Academic Directors. Approximately 24 applicants are invited to attend an interview. The Academic Advisory Committee is made up of political science professors from British Columbia universities, the Program Director and the Academic Director. Interviews are held in Vancouver over a two-day period in March of each year.

Selection is based upon a range of considerations, the most significant being the applicant’s academic achievements, maturity, interpersonal skills and an interest in British Columbia’s governing processes. The program is educational in intent. A flexible approach to assignments is needed as the work can vary considerably from day-to-day. The ability to multi-task is essential.

Notification to candidates regarding their status is sent by email shortly after the interview period. Interview travel costs may be reimbursed by the program as outlined in the interview confirmation email.

Personal Requirements

It is expected that successful candidates will act in a professional, ethical and mature manner during the internship. Interns must agree to maintain the confidentiality of the workplace and respect confidences disclosed to them in the course of their internship, and swear oaths to that effect. Interns must behave in a non-partisan fashion and refrain from outside political activity for the duration of the program.

Remuneration

Legislative Interns receive compensation funded by the Legislative Assembly. Remuneration is reviewed each year by the Program Director and the Deputy Clerk and Clerk of Committees, and approved by the Speaker. For the 2018 program year, Intern remuneration is set at $26,377 for 25 weeks.

Seminars and Special Visits

Academic seminars, arranged by the Academic Director, feature presentations by academics and other specialists on timely topics of interest to the Interns.

Bi-weekly discussion groups offer Interns the time to develop and plan their Constituency Week assignment, educational visits and year-end newsletter.

Based on available funding, a visit to another Legislature may form part of the program. In turn, B.C. Interns have hosted other provincial and American Interns and have had the opportunity to compare views based upon their experiences in the various Legislatures. This creates a pool of citizens better informed about the similarities and differences characteristic of the various jurisdictions that comprise the Canadian federation.

B.C. Legislative Internship Program Alumni

Alumni of the program have established themselves in a variety of professions including politics, law, academia, journalism and the public service. In 2016, the program celebrated its 40th anniversary. The 2017 edition of the intern newsletter - the BC Legislative Internship Gazette - is now available. Copies have been mailed to all alumni. If you did not receive your copy, please contact the Parliamentary Education Office at 250-356-1285 or by email to BCLIP@leg.bc.ca to update your contact information.

View an electronic version of the 2017 BC Legislative Internship Gazette here.

40th Anniversary Reunion of the B.C. Legislative Internship Program

The 40th Anniversary Reunion of the B.C. Legislative Internship Program took place on Friday, April 22 and Saturday, April 23, 2016 in Victoria. The events included an Opening Reception at the Parliament Buildings, hosted by the Honourable Linda Reid, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, an after-party featuring music by the Soul Shakers, and a Reunion Banquet at Government House, the ceremonial home of all British Columbians. Over 150 distinguished alumni from across British Columbia and Canada reunited in Victoria to celebrate this important milestone!

The Parliamentary Education Office would like to thank the members of the 40th Anniversary Reunion Alumni Committee for their support and assistance in planning these events.

B.C. Legislative Internship Program Alumni Association

Following the 40th Anniversary Reunion, we are happy to advise that a BCLIP Alumni Association has been formed. All alumni are automatically a part of the Association.  Events are being planned and there are numerous way to stay connected:​

  1. ​​Email: bclipaa@gmail.com
  2. Facebook: BCLIP Alumni Association group

Academic Advisors to the B.C. Legislative Internship Program

 

Dr. Patrick Smith

Academic Director

Department of Political Science

Simon Fraser University

Burnaby, BC

E-mail: psmith@sfu.ca

Dr. Gerald Baier

Department of Political Science

University of British Columbia

Vancouver, BC

Email: baier@politics.ubc.ca


Dr. James Lawson

Department of Political Science

University of Victoria

Victoria, BC

Email: lawsonj@uvic.ca

Dr. Andrew Heard

Department of Political Science

Simon Fraser University

Burnaby, BC

Email: aheard@sfu.ca


Dr. Tracy Summerville

Department of Political Science

University of Northern British Columbia

Prince George, BC

Email: summervi@unbc.ca

How to apply

​Thank you for your interest in the B.C. Legislative Internship Program. Recruitment for the 2018 program is now complete. The application intake period for the 2019 program will begin on October 31, 2017 and end on January 31, 2018. Please visit the website during that time period to access the online application form.

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