About the Program
About the Job
Duties and Benefits
As a page, you can:
- Perform tasks directly related to the sittings of the House
- Work with members of Parliament in a non-partisan role
- Assist in state visits and official events
- Experience debates live in the Chamber
- Meet with student groups in the Chamber
- Learn about Canada’s parliamentary system
- Serve as a link between members and administrative staff
- Participate in the Speaker’s parade
There are many benefits to working as a page:
- Flexible work hours that accommodate your class schedule
- An attractive salary
- Your travel costs paid at the start and end of your contract
- Special access to key events
- New friendships
- A job in an iconic setting
In late August, new Pages begin their stay in Ottawa with an intensive training program. During this training, they learn about their new work environment, their responsibilities and duties, and what they need to know in order to provide the high level of service required in the House of Commons.
Pages work at the House of Commons for a one-year term beginning in late August, and are required to work a minimum of 15 hours a week. Their university course schedules are arranged in consultation with the Page Program to ensure that there are no conflicts with their work schedules at the House.
Under the terms of their contract, Pages are paid $16,587 in 26 equal payments over a 12-month period. In addition, a sum of $1,200 is paid at the end of the employment period for successful completion of the contract.
Pages are responsible for finding their own accommodation. They must pay for their rent and all other expenses while in Ottawa, including tuition fees, books and food, etc. Pages from outside the National Capital Region often stay in one of the university residences.
“The phrase "once in a lifetime" feels cliché, and yet there's really no other way of describing the Page Program. There are few other places where you have to pinch yourself when you walk in just to make sure you're not dreaming (yes, you really work here!). Whether it's the excitement, the immersion into the world of politics, the friends, or the opportunities it opens up, the Page Program has something for everyone— my only wish was that the year could last longer!”
— Sol Schafer, 2018-2019
“It has been quite the adventure moving to the most political city in Canada and experiencing it all from a non-partisan position. From interactions within the Chamber to special events outside, the Page Program has opened the door to a path I never would have thought possible or would have imagined walking down. Continuing to work on Parliament Hill has become a realistic future and I am excited to see how politics and policy will shape my time pursuing a degree in Environmental Studies!”
— Hallie Robinson, 2018-2019
“I thought I would get over the feeling of wonder and amazement I got walking up to Parliament every day for work, but it still hasn't worn off. The Page Program is a once in a lifetime experience, and every part of it is incredible. From the people I got to work with, to the simple experience of walking to work each day, they all made this job so worthwhile, and I had such an amazing time while learning so much about our government and falling in love with the City of Ottawa.”
— Jordan Egan, 2017-2018
“Unforgettable! Having the once in a lifetime opportunity of being a page was truly life changing and unforgettable. This program is more than a job and it has taught me more than I could have possibly imagined. While I did not have a passion for politics initially, I will always be grateful for being offered this opportunity as I have learnt so much. I have witnessed history being made every day, contributed to an amazing work place, and made lifelong friendships. I will never forget my year as a page and I know that the education, friends, and memories I have collected will always be with me.”
— Andréa Rondeau-Brown, 2016-2017
“The Page Program has been the most incredible experience of my life. Coming from a small town in British Columbia, I couldn't help but feel disconnected from the rest of the country, so to be here in the capital, immersed in the energy and liveliness of the Hill is more than I can ask for. The experiences in the House have been one of a kind, but most importantly, it is the people I have met through the program and the memories we have made together that have made this year so wonderful.”
— Kristy Frenken-Francis, 2015-2016
“Working as a Page in the House of Commons has been an incredible privilege which has allowed me and my fellow coworkers, and friends, to better understand the intricacies of Canadian politics and the workings of government. I would highly recommend the Page Program to anyone who wishes to work in a stimulating and historic environment such as Parliament.”
— Nicolas Bonin, 2014-2015
“Being a Page was truly an incredible experience! Not only was I privileged to thoroughly learn about Canada’s democratic system, but I also had the opportunity to witness the lives of Members of Parliament. The House of Commons is an outstanding political classroom and I recommend the Page Program with much enthusiasm!”
— Mélanie Laframboise, 2014-2015
“It was an amazing experience, one that I will truly never forget. I was able to get the insider perspective on how our Canadian political system really works. It was a privilege to be able to work on the floor of the House of Commons along with my 39 fellow pages. To those who are thinking of applying... it really is an experience of a lifetime!”
— Jean-François LeFort, 2009-2010
Pages first began working in the House in the early years of Confederation, but their role has evolved significantly since then.
The Page Program as we know it today was introduced in 1978 by the Honourable James A. Jerome who was then the Speaker of the House. A few years earlier, in 1974, the Speaker had asked the Clerk of the House to prepare a report as part of a review of the existing program at the time.
The report, prepared by the Standing Committee on Management and Members’ Services, concluded that the Canadian Page Program was unsatisfactory for a number of reasons and that, in order to meet the demands of a modern society, it should achieve the following objectives:
- symbolize the national character of Parliament;
- increase the public’s knowledge of parliamentary proceedings;
- provide high-quality service to Members; and
- offer employment opportunities for young people, with no discrimination on the basis of sex.
The Program was then open to graduating high school and CEGEP students in Canada who were beginning their studies at one of the universities in the National Capital Region. In doing so, the goal was to recruit students from across Canada, pay them a salary, and achieve the objectives set out in the report.
When the new Program was implemented, Speaker Jerome stated that, “in future years the entire country will benefit from having these citizens back in the country, better equipped through education and through their exposure here to a practical knowledge of the Canadian House of Commons.” (Debates, October 10, 1978, p. 6953)
To learn more about the history of the Page Program, you may read the article entitled “The Commons Then and Now: Pages,” written by Marc Bosc, a former Page and former Acting Clerk of the House of Commons, for the Canadian Parliamentary Review (Vol. 12, No. 2, Summer 1989).