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The Honourable George J. Furey, Q.C.

Speaker of the Senate



American Students on the Hill

On May 31, 2016, students from the University of Michigan met with Speaker of the Senate George Furey as they concluded their internship program on Parliament Hill.

The Internship program organized by the University of Michigan, incidentally the oldest American internship program operating in Canada, has been inviting students from the United States to participate in this program and learn about our parliamentary system since 1977. Every spring, the program brings 20 to 25 undergraduate students to the nation’s capital to work in Senators’ and MPs’ offices on Parliament Hill during a five-week program. During their time in Ottawa, the students gain first-hand experience about the Canadian political system and how it functions by working in the office of a federal politician and also participate in a number of cultural activities.

As a former educator and educational administrator from Newfoundland and Labrador, Speaker Furey has always placed particular importance on internship programs as he deems them to provide students with a unique opportunity to gain knowledge, skills and values.

Speaker Furey was joined by Mrs. Vicki Heyman, spouse of American Ambassador Bruce Heyman, in welcoming the students to the Senate. Mrs. Heyman shared her deep appreciation for the time she has spent here in Canada and placed emphasis on the role that each of us play in contributing to the success of the vital bilateral relationship between Canada and the United States.

Speaker Furey shared the following sentiments with the student interns: “I believe that presidential and prime ministerial comments about Canada are invariably seen as a measure of the health of the strong relationship that exists between Canada and the United States... and I like to refer to the one by President Truman, who told our Parliament in 1947:

“the example of accord provided by our two countries did not come about merely through the happy circumstance of geography…
It is compounded of one part proximity and nine parts good will and common sense.”

Speaker Furey concluded by wishing the unofficial Canada-United States goodwill ambassadors all the very best on their future endeavours.

Danielle Jahnke, interned in Senator Joseph Day’s office

“Thanks to University of Michigan’s Ottawa internship program, my five weeks interning in the Senate has been unforgettable. Seeing the inner workings of Parliament has taught me so much about politics and policy. I’ve had the opportunity to sit in on committee meetings, meet highly respected Senators and MPs, and conduct research for current and upcoming policies. I came in not knowing what to expect, but working with the Senate was one of the best learning experiences I could have ever asked for. This experience has inspired me to continue pursuing work in policy and politics.”

Jalen Zeman, (right), who interned in the office of the Hon. Wayne Easter, PC, MP, is joined by fellow intern Max Goldman (left) and Minister of Democratic Reform, the Hon. Maryam Monsef, PC, MP

“This internship through the University of Michigan has provided a level of access and experience that I honestly do not think I could find anywhere else.”

Nadine Reda, interned in the office of the Speaker of the Senate

“I am truly grateful for the opportunity I have had to intern in the office of the Speaker of the Senate. The diversity in the work and the unique exposure to politics was a life changing experience. This experience helped me sharpen valuable lifelong professional skills, and I will look back at this experience as one of the most significant to having reached my goals.”

More information on the program can be found at: