FAQs about Model Parliament

What are the dates of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario Model Parliament Program?

The upcoming Model Parliament dates are February 28 to March 1, 2024 (onsite in Toronto). The virtual component of the program starts in November 2023. 

Do I have to pay to apply?

No, there are no fees to apply to the program.

Who can apply?

All applicants must be currently enrolled in an Ontario high school and attending grades 10 to 12 at the time that the program takes place.

I am homeschooled by a parent/guardian. Am I eligible to participate in the program?

Yes, you may apply for the program.

I previously participated in the Model Parliament Program. Can I apply again?

No, if you have already participated in the Model Parliament Program you cannot apply again.

I don't know a lot about politics, can I still apply?

Yes, absolutely! The goal of the program us to get participants interested in politics, provincial issues and to learn how parliament functions. If you are passionate to learn, we encourage you to apply.

What is the application process?

The applicant must complete and submit an online application, including responses to 3 long-answer questions (see the Eligibility Section). In addition, the applicant must print, sign, scan and attach a Consent Form and a Code of Conduct Form to their application. Applicants will also need a letter of recommendation written by a teacher, principal, vice principal or guidance counselor. This letter should be uploaded on the online application form. 

Who can write my letter of recommendation?

Your letter of recommendation must be written by a teacher, principal, vice principal or guidance counselor. If you are home schooled by a parent/guardian, your letter of recommendation should be written by a supervisor where you volunteer or work. If you have specific questions, please email modelparliament@ola.org.

How many participants will be chosen?

If eligible, one student from each provincial riding (electoral district) in Ontario will be selected.

When will I know if I have been selected?

Applicants are contacted during the month of November with the results of their application.

Why does the Model Parliament Program take place during school days?

The Model Parliament Program takes place when the House is scheduled to be in session. This gives participants an opportunity to see the Legislature in action and interact with key figures in Ontario's parliament.

Will any of my transportation costs to Toronto be covered?

Yes, for students who live further than 50 km from Toronto, one return trip for the student from the participant's home town to Toronto will be reimbursed by the Model Parliament Program. Train, bus, air and GO Transit travel will be reimbursed; mileage will not be reimbursed. Please retain all receipts related to travel costs.

I don’t live near Toronto, where will I stay?

It is the responsibility of each student attending the Model Parliament Program to find accommodation while in Toronto.

How much time will I need to commit to the Model Parliament Program?

Aside from the three days in Toronto, Microsoft Teams will be used to communicate daily with participants in the weeks leading up to the Model Parliament Program. Participants will be expected to check-in online daily as information and preparatory assignments will be posted in Microsoft Teams. You will be required to participate in leadership/party selections, complete quizzes, workshop a bill, and participate in debates and caucus meetings. You can expect 2-10 hours per week.

What happens if I cannot attend a meeting or miss an assignment deadline?

You must advise program staff in advance if you are unable to attend a meeting or complete an assignment on time. More than two absences or failure to submit an assignment may result in your dismissal from the program. Meeting times will be arranged in advance.

Will the program be offered in French?

Official documentation and individual assignments will be available in French upon request; however, the majority of sessions will take place in English. All program staff are bilingual and are able to provide support in either language. The final debate in the Chamber will have live simultaneous interpretation available for all participants.

What equipment will I need?

You are responsible for your own equipment. All participants must have access to:

  • Internet (high-speed is ideal for a more stable connection)
  • A computer or laptop with a webcam (or webcam attachment)
  • A headset or headphones with an integrated microphone
  • A quiet space to attend virtual meetings

If I’m selected, which political party will I belong to?

If you are chosen to participate in the Model Parliament program you will undertake an exercise to determine where you fall on the political spectrum. Students with similar viewpoints will be placed in the same party.

If I am selected, may I play a specific role in the Model Parliament Program?

Yes, students will have to opportunity to assume various roles such as a party leader, cabinet minister or opposition critic.

Will I get to meet Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs)?

Yes, over the course of the program you will have the opportunity to meet MPPs.

Will I get to debate in the Legislative Chamber?

Yes, on the last day of the Model Parliament Program participants will engage in a simulation of a session of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario that will take place in the Chamber. 

Can my parent/guardian come and watch me in action?

Yes, only on the last day of the program. Parents/guardians are welcome to watch the Model Parliament proceedings from the public galleries. Names of all visitors must be provided in advance. Please note that all visitors aged 16 and up must provide government issued photo identification when entering the Legislative Building, and must check in with security at the visitors' entrance.

Will I receive a certificate to add to my portfolio?

Yes, all participants will receive a certificate of participation from the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. 

Who can I contact if I have more questions about the Model Parliament Program?

Should you have any questions, please contact the Model Parliament Program at 416-325-7500 or e-mail: modelparliament@ola.org.