Since 2018, the GreenPAC Parliamentary Internship for the Environment (PIE) program has sought to equip the next generation of environmental leaders with invaluable skills, experience, and political know-how to drive change.
About the Internship
Now entering its fourth year and delivered in partnership with Sustainability Network, the PIE program offers outstanding young leaders, aged 18-30, the opportunity to work and learn alongside some of Canada’s top environmental champions. Successful applicants to the program receive a ten-month, paid internship placement in the Parliament Hill office of a Member of Parliament (MP) with a proven record of environmental leadership. Reflecting GreenPAC’s commitment to nonpartisanship, host MPs come from every major national party.
Interns gain a deep, day-to-day understanding of the federal government, becoming well-versed in legislative affairs, policy research, and constituency work while also supporting current environmental changemakers of all political stripes. Outside the office, Interns take part in a range of professional and leadership development programming, including workshops, seminars, and fireside chats with expert speakers from the nonprofit sector, industry, and government.
The Parliamentary Internship for the Environment program runs from September 2021 to June 2022. Interns receive a monthly stipend totalling $25,000 CAD.
Who Should Apply?
GreenPAC values young leaders from all backgrounds and disciplines. Our only fixed requirements are that applicants be between 18-30 years old as of the program start date and be legally eligible to work in Canada for the duration of the program. We especially invite candidates who self-identify as Black, Indigenous, a person of colour, LGTBQ2S+, and/or a person with a disability to apply.
GreenPAC recognizes that leadership takes many forms. We also recognize that many pathways exist to gaining the types of skills and competencies needed to be successful in this program, and that systemic barriers limit access to opportunities for many groups of people. For this reason, we have always invited applications from young leaders no matter their level or type of education and no matter their type of leadership experience.
Based on the nature of Parliament Hill and our role as a leadership development program, the following are some of the skills, experience and competencies we value more than “credentials” in the selection process:
- Demonstrated interest in the environment
- Demonstrated interest in politics, the political process or political advocacy at any level
- Exceptional written communication skills in English (proficiency in French is an asset but not required)
- Strong oral communication skills in English
- Critical thinking skills
- Willingness to learn and engage with different political viewpoints (open-mindedness)
- Adaptability and being able to take initiative (“self-starter”)
- Time management skills
- Ability to work both independently and as part of a team
- Experience in conducting research and ability to effectively synthesize information
- Emotional intelligence (strong asset)
For more details about the selection process and internship experience, including our approach to anti-oppressive practice, please refer to our FAQ. If you require any reasonable accommodations during the application process, please contact email@example.com prior to the application deadline.
Please click here to submit an application form and upload the required supporting documents. Shortlisted candidates will be contacted for a Zoom interview conducted by members of our Hiring Committee. A French version of the application form will be available soon.
We are currently accepting applications and conducting interviews on a rolling basis.
All applications received prior to May 2, 2021 at midnight (EST) are guaranteed a review by our Hiring Committee. Applications received past this date may still be considered so long as space remains available.
What is GreenPAC’s Parliamentary Internship for the Environment?
GreenPAC’s Parliamentary Internship for the Environment is a leadership development program for young environmental champions, aged 18-30. The program is a project of GreenPAC in collaboration with Sustainability Network. Successful applicants receive paid, ten-month internship placements in the Parliament Hill office of a Member of Parliament (MP) with a proven record of environmental commitment. Interns gain hands-on experience in the policymaking process and outside the office, participate in a suite of professional and leadership development programming, including workshops, seminars and fireside chats with experts from government, industry and the nonprofit sector.
What is the Parliamentary Internship for the Environment program’s approach to equity and anti-oppression?
GreenPAC recognizes the existence of power disparities in society that benefit certain communities while marginalizing and/or oppressing other groups. As an organization, GreenPAC has an ongoing commitment to advancing anti-oppressive and anti-racist goals in all areas of its work and at every level of the organization, including within the internship program. This includes incorporating anti-oppressive approaches into the application and hiring process, providing risk awareness and workplace readiness training to incoming interns, investing in ongoing training on such topics as brave conversations, restorative practice and unconscious bias for staff and interns, having a zero-tolerance policy for harassment and discrimination in our partner office agreements, and maintaining a limited discretionary fund to support low-income interns and/or interns who face extra barriers to succeeding on Parliament Hill.
We recognize that there are unique challenges and contradictions posed by the context in which the PIE program operates. The Parliamentary system and institution of the federal government have a legacy of creating, permitting and perpetuating power disparities resulting in significant and enduring harm, both direct and indirect, to certain marginalized groups and to individuals within these communities. We recognize that many effects of past harms, such as the legacy of the residential school system on Indigenous peoples, continues to be felt today.
We also recognize that the majority of Parliamentarians are from priviledged groups (i.e. white, male, cis-gender, etc.), and that women, BIPOC individuals, members of the LGTBQ2S+ community, and individuals with a disability are among the groups who are significantly and disproportionately underrepresented in the House of Commons and who face systemic barriers to access. This not only perpetuates cycles of oppression, but at the workplace level, risks exacerbating existing power imbalances between interns/junior staffers and those in positions of authority.
We are committed to elevating interns from all backgrounds, to supporting interns in navigating and overcoming systemic barriers, and to ensuring a safe and respectful working environment for all program participants and staff. Our full (and evolving) statement of practice on Equity, Anti-Oppression and the Parliamentary Internship for the Environment Program, which outlines our commitments in more detail, will be publicly available in the near future.
What can I expect as a GreenPAC Intern?
The Parliamentary Internship for the Environment is an intensive program! Along with working full-time (37.5 hrs/week), interns are expected to attend regularly scheduled leadership development programming, workshops, and events, which may take place on evenings and weekends. Interns can also expect to participate in fun social activities, field trips, group projects, and leadership opportunities. It’s a lot, but you will be supported by the Program Manager, your office, and your fellow Interns along the way. Following the program, interns can expect to remain in touch through an Alumni Network.
Interns are required to abide by GreenPAC’s operational policies, including our conflict of interest policies and restrictions on lobbying during the course of the program. Interns are also expected to abide by a Code of Conduct that includes zero-tolerance for harassment and discrimination.
What is the application process?
Prospective applicants should complete the required application form and upload the required supporting documents (a copy of your CV or resume and two writing samples). All applications are reviewed by our Hiring Committee and shortlisted candidates will be contacted within 6-8 weeks after intake closes for a phone or Zoom interview. We will only contact your references after your interview, but do request this information on your application.
All applicants will be notified of the results of their application, regardless of whether or not they were successful. Due to the overwhelming volume of applications we receive, we do not have the resources to provide feedback on individual applications.
If you have questions during the application process or require reasonable accommodations, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org prior to the application deadline.
What does a typical day look like in an MP’s office?
Interns’ experiences vary between offices and can change quickly depending on what’s happening in government. A typical workday for Interns could include communications work, conducting research, constituency outreach, Parliamentary Committee work, assisting on Private Members’ Bills or legislative amendments, special projects, and attending events with their MP on and off the Hill. We work with host MPs to ensure Interns have a range of learning opportunities. Administrative work is expected of every Hill staffer, and so too it is expected of interns!
How has the internship changed with COVID-19?
Amidst COVID-19, some interns have been working remotely, while others split their time between working remotely and working (socially distanced!) in the office. Whether or not MPs are in-person in Ottawa often depends on the individual MP and their party. We provide remote workplace assistance to interns to offset the costs of internet, phone bills and so forth, and facilitate in-person opportunities where it is safe to do so.
Like everyone on Parliament Hill, we do not know what Ottawa will look like in the fall. Interns should still plan to relocate for September 2021, though we expect some hybrid elements of Parliamentary work and our programming will remain in place.
Will I get paid during the GreenPAC Parliamentary Internship for the Environment?
Yes, all Interns receive a monthly stipend to help cover living expenses, totalling $25,000 CAD. Interns also receive limited relocation assistance and a personalized professional development budget.
Stipends are, unfortunately, taxable.
Do I need to be a university student or graduate to apply?
No. We believe leadership can take many forms – GreenPAC’s Parliamentary Internship is unique in that there is no educational prerequisite for this program. However, interns should be equipped to work in a fast-paced environment that requires strong reading comprehension and writing skills.
I will still be in school next year – can I apply?
We welcome applicants regardless of where they are in their education; however, students in the process of completing a degree, diploma or certificate program may find it difficult to carry on academic pursuits concurrently with the program.
Do I need a background in political or environmental science?
Not at all – our interns to date have had backgrounds in everything from agriculture and evolutionary biology, to kinesiology and economics. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds and provide training during orientation on the political and legislative process to get everyone up to speed.
Can I do the program part-time?
No, the program is structured to be full-time in Ottawa. We consider program modifications only in very rare circumstances.
Do I need to be a member of a political party?
Involvement in a political party is considered when selecting and placing Interns, but it is not mandatory.
I applied for the GreenPAC Parliamentary Internship for the Environment last year. Can I apply again?
Do I need to be bilingual in French and English?
No, although it can be an asset for some placements. Please note that GreenPAC’s operating language is English and internship programming is conducted primarily in English.
Which Member of Parliament (MP) will I work with? Do I get to choose?
Host MPs come from every major national political party. We take interns’ party preferences and/or party membership into account when arranging placements, but interns do not get to choose their MP. In order to support environmental leadership across the country, not all our MP partners are GreenPAC endorsees.
What will I gain from this program?
Invaluable experience, in-depth exposure to politics and decision making in Canada, leadership skills, personalized professional development training, incredible networking opportunities, access to expert guest speakers and sector leaders, a deeper understanding of environmental issues and their solutions, and much more!