Ontario Legislative Page Program Offers Opportunity to Youths

By Goldie Ghamari, MPP for Carleton

Last week, I had the pleasure of having lunch with St. Mark High School student Simon Valentini, who is part of the Ontario Legislatives Page Program.

Simon is the second Page that we have had from the Carleton riding in the last two years.

Each year, approximately 150 young students from across Ontario are selected to participate in Ontario’s Legislative Page Program. This unique educational program for Ontario students provides an opportunity to experience the provincial legislature in action and forge new lifelong friendships with peers from all over the province.

Pages have been an important part of Ontario’s Parliament since Confederation.  These early Pages were 10 to 14 year-old boys who carried messages, ran errands, and fetched glasses of water for Members of Provincial Parliament.

The role of the Page remained the same throughout the first half of the twentieth century.  In 1952, a tutor was hired to work with the Pages a few days a week.  Eligibility requirements changed, so that Pages now had to be students in grades 7 or 8, and have a minimum academic average of 80 percent. They also had to have a letter of recommendation from their principal.

The program is designed for outgoing, high-achieving, community-involved students who have demonstrated responsibility and leadership. Legislative Pages meet key parliamentary and political figures, and learn first-hand about Ontario’s Parliament and the legislative process.

While at Queen’s Park, they are under the direction of the Page Program Coordinator who is a certified Ontario teacher. Pages also receive an honorarium during their term of duty.

Being a Page is sure to be one of the most exciting and memorable times of your life. It does, however, come with a number of responsibilities. If selected, you will have to study and prepare for your term of duty, wear a traditional black and white uniform, follow many rules and procedures, and commit to the program from Monday to Friday.

As we welcome the Pages to the Legislative Building, their health and safety, as well as everyone who has direct contact with them, is top priority.

For the Fall 2024 period, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Attend school in Ontario and be entering Grade 8 in the Fall of 2024
  • Have an academic average of Level 4 or 80 % (or higher)

Students must also demonstrate an involvement in a variety of extra-curricular (in and out of school) and community-based activities; leadership skills; responsibility, maturity, and commitment; an interest in current affairs; strong interpersonal and social skills; and an ability to get along well with peers and adults.

Applications from Ontario students are accepted online two times per year – April 15 to June 15 and September 15 to November 15.

For more information, visit

Losing an icon in the community

We are all saddened in the Carleton riding after the passing of Jeff Kyle, who was very well known and loved throughout Ottawa.

Jeff passed away peacefully at home on April 18 after a long and courageous battle with Glioblastoma, which is a cancerous brain tumor.

A native of Brockville, Jeff went to Queen’s University, where he excelled both in the classroom and as a member of the Golden Gaels football team.

After graduation, he worked for Terrace Investments under CEO and fellow Brockville native Cyril Leeder. and played a huge role in bringing NHL hockey back to Ottawa after an absence of more than 55 years. Jeff was the longtime VP of Marketing and Ticket Sales for the Sens.

In the community, Jeff was the type of person who inspired everyone around him. He had a genuine smile for everyone. He was a great husband and father. He proved that success in business can still be achieved by building strong relationships.

As a cancer patient, he was inspirational. He fought hard and never backed down, no matter how difficult things became for him. He shared his journey – the ups and the downs – on social media, hoping that he could set an example for other cancer patients to follow.

His kindness and his courageous battle were often talked about in my constituency office, as some of my staff members knew him or his family.

My sincerest condolences go out to his wife, Joanne, and his children, Cody and Jordan. Jeff Kyle touched the lives of everyone he crossed paths with. He will be dearly missed in the community.

Ontario Helping Family Doctors Put Patients before Paperwork

The Ontario government is taking further action to help family doctors and other primary care providers spend more time with their patients and less time on paperwork.

The government will allow primary care providers to spend more time with patients by making changes that encourage employers to use other tools instead of sick notes, such as attestations, that will help maintain accountability as employees request time off sick. The province is also expanding an innovative program to more than 150 primary care providers that safely uses artificial intelligence to automatically summarize or transcribe conversations with patients who consent into electronic medical notes. This will result in a better patient experience and more accurate records.

These initiatives, in addition to other changes aimed at putting patients over paperwork, will free up to 95,000 hours annually for physicians to put back into their practices caring for patients, including:

  • “Axe the fax” to replace fax machines over the next few years to speed up diagnosis, referrals and treatments while improving the privacy of patient’s health information.
  • Expanding eServices to digitize more referral and consultation forms so they can be conveniently shared electronically in a timely manner to obtain specialist advice, often eliminating the need for an in-person specialist visit entirely.
  • Improving the eForms platform to use more digital tools that make it convenient for providers to autofill and share forms.
  • Working with the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) to streamline and simplify 12 key government medical forms that are burdensome, as well as digitizing and integrating more forms into electronic medical records.
  • Accelerating the expansion of the centralized waitlist program for surgical and diagnostic services that will take the guesswork out of the referral process and provide faster access to care for patients.

Cutting unnecessary paperwork like sick notes and streamlining note taking during patient appointments are more ways that the Ontario government, through Your Health: A Plan For Connected and Convenient Care, is making it easier and faster for people to connect to the care they need, where and when they need it.

Quick Facts

  • AI scribes will only be used during a visit if the patient gives their consent, and the privacy of patient health information will continue to be protected under the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004.
  • Research shows using medical scribes reduced the time doctors spent on after-hours documentation by up to 50 per cent and helped clinicians see an additional 12 patients per month.
  • Across government and in collaboration with the Ontario Medical Association, the government is reviewing key forms to streamline and simplify them, minimize any duplication, and identify opportunities for digital solutions.
  • According to the Ontario Medical Association, family doctors spend 19 hours per week on administrative tasks, including four hours writing notes or completing forms for patients.
  • Most employees have the right to take up to three days of unpaid job-protected sick leave each calendar year due to a personal illness, injury, or medical emergency. Proposed changes would prohibit employers from requiring sick notes from a qualified health practitioner in order for employees to take their entitled leave. Employers maintain the ability to require reasonable evidence from an employee that they were sick, such as an attestation or declaration.

Office Notice:

My office is open Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm. If you require assistance on any matter, please contact me at any time. My staff and I will be happy to assist. Even if it’s not a provincial issue, I’ll make sure to connect you with the proper office.


Your voice at Queen’s Park