Carrie Robinson

Carrie Robinson

Carrie Robinson is a fourth-year International Studies and Political Science student from Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, who worked in the local constituency office of a Member of Provincial Parliament on community engagement and outreach activities.

Carrie has been interested in the local politics of her hometown, Niagara-on-the-Lake, since a very young age – her first exposure to politics came when local politicians were unable to save her elementary school from being closed. Carrie plans to attend graduate school after Bishop’s, but as she is interested in both international and domestic politics, gaining first-hand experience in a local constituency office was an important step in deciding how to focus her ambitions.

Carrie joined the office of Ontario MPP Wayne Gates for a 12-week internship during which she had the opportunity to create briefing notes, write speeches, correspond with constituents and accompany MPP Gates to events and meetings.

“The project was extremely rewarding and helped me to gain perspective on how a constituency office runs, how government officials work to represent their community, and whether I hope to work in this field after I graduate,” says Carrie.

The most rewarding experience Carrie had during her internship came about as she worked with MPP Gates following a tragic event. In June of 2021, five members of a family in London, Ontario, were killed in an anti-Muslim attack. After MPP Gates addressed the community at the Niagara Falls Peace Mosque, Carrie suggested and then coordinated an outreach program between MPP Gates and the Muslim community in Niagara. “I feel this made a substantial difference to a section of our community that has felt under-represented for a long time. I believe that this dialogue was overdue and made a difference to both MPP Gates and the members of our Islamic community,” Carrie explains.

Carrie is also appreciative of the opportunities she had to accompany MPP Gates to a wide range of events in the riding, which gave her first-hand insight into the interactions between elected officials and their constituents.

“I was also able to have candid conversations with Mr. Gates about why he decided to enter politics, how he wants to improve the riding and the problems he wants to solve in the province. These conversations were eye-opening to me as a student about to enter the workforce, and his advice and insights were invaluable,” Carrie says.

“When studying politics we are taught the theoretical approaches to the field, and being able to put that knowledge to use in concrete ways before graduating from my undergraduate degree has enriched my university experience,” says Carrie. “Although I am still deciding what direction I wish to take post-Bishop’s, I now know what a career as a constituency assistant would look like, and that is very beneficial as I begin to navigate entering the workforce.”