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

The next Model Parliament program will take place from September to December 2021. The virtual debate will take place on Friday, December 10th and Saturday, December 11th, 2021. The in-person program is currently suspended.

When will program sessions take place?

The Model Parliament program takes place over the course of multiple months. There will be weekly afternoon or evening virtual meetings (either with all participants or in smaller caucus groups) outside of school hours. There will also be a few special sessions that take place during the day to ensure participants are able to interact with key figures in parliament and special guests - during these bonus sessions attendance is not mandatory.

How much time will I need to commit to the program?

You are expected to check-in daily and participate in mandatory weekly caucus meetings.  Information and assignments will be posted virtually. You will be required to complete quizzes, participate in online leadership debates, craft a party statement and work on a bill. You can expect 2 to 10 hours of work per week (outside of your regular school work). Participants must advise program staff in advance if they are unable to attend a meeting. More than two absences may result in your removal from the program.

Who can apply?

If you are attending an Ontario high school and will be in grades 10 to 12 at the time of the program, you can apply.

I am home schooled by a parent/guardian. Am I eligible to participate in this program?

Yes, you can apply for the program. 

What is the application process?

You must complete and submit an online application, including responses to three long answer questions. In addition, you must print, sign, scan, and attach a Consent Form and a Code of Conduct Form to your application. You will also need a letter of recommendation written by a teacher, principal, vice principal or guidance counselor. These documents will need to be uploaded with 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.

I participated in the Model Parliament program previously, can I apply again?

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

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 and be responsible for coming up with a party name, mission and party statement. All parties will be fictional for the purpose of this program.

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

Yes, students will have an 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 virtually meet MPPs.

How many participants will be chosen?

50 students from across the province will be selected to participate in the program. A minimum of 30 students are required for the program to be offered.

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 to accommodate as many participants as possible.

When will I know if I have been selected?

You will be contacted by the end of September with the results of your application.

Will I get to debate in the Legislative Chamber?

There will be no onsite component for this program. The final debate will simulate the debate in the Chamber for all participants as accurately as possible while remaining online.

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

What platform will the program use?

The platform will be confirmed in September upon acceptance to the program. The program may be run through a combination of platforms, such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom and/or Google Classroom.

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

Yes, absolutely! The goal of the program is 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.

Do I have to pay to apply?

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

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, including the virtual debates. All program staff are bilingual and are able to provide support in either language.

Will I receive a certificate to add to my portfolio?

Yes, all participants will receive a certificate of recognition 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: modelparliament@ola.org.