About the Program
About the Job
Pages work in the House of Commons Chamber under the direction of a group of supervisors and a coordinator. They provide various services to Members of Parliament, the Speaker and Chair Occupants, and Table Officers. For example, Pages collect and distribute official documents, deliver messages to Members, serve as a link between Members and their Hill offices, answer telephone calls, and make photocopies. On occasion, Pages also meet with youth groups to speak about their duties and their experience on Parliament Hill.
Professional, impartial, and efficient service is a hallmark of the House of Commons Page Program.
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 sign a contract with 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 $15,455 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.
The House of Commons will pay for transportation between the Page’s permanent residence and Ottawa at the beginning of the term of employment and for return transportation at the end of the term of employment.
A uniform is provided to each Page at the beginning of the employment period and must be returned at the end of the employment period. The men’s uniform consists of a three-piece black suit, white shirt and tie. The women’s uniform consists of a two-piece black suit and a white blouse. Pages also receive an allowance to purchase appropriate shoes to wear while in uniform.
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 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
“Adventure. Mystery. Exploration. That is the life of a Page in the House of Commons – from interacting daily with Members of Parliament to being acquainted with Canadian parliamentary functions, this is the best first year job anyone could ever have. Beyond this, it will open doors to opportunity that, at one point, seemed like a far-off dream. Ready to begin your journey? Apply today!”
— Clive Ngan, 2014-2015
“The Page Program was an unforgettable experience and one of the highlights of my time at university. Walking up to work on Parliament Hill never seems to get old and there is no better way to learn about Canada’s legislative process. I am so glad I was able to have the experience, as some of the friends I made are my closest friends today; I would recommend the program to anyone!”
— Josh Vriends, 2013-2014
“The Page Program provides young Canadians with the best seats in the country to listen to heated parliamentary debates of our nation, learn about Canadian politics first hand, as well as share this year long phenomenal experience with fellow young Canadians from coast to coast. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity that will mark one of the most memorable years of your life.”
— Cissie Liu, 2010-2011
“Working as a Page in the House of Commons has been an incredible experience to say the least. I had the privilege of witnessing the budget speech, confidence motions, and several critical votes, all of which were covered extensively in the media. I've met 39 other young people with whom I have had the opportunity to share this unforgettable year. I'm so glad I applied to the Page Program and I can honestly say I have had a truly unique experience!”
— Stephanie Feldman, 2010-2011
“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).