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Two Abbotsford students accepted into competitive House of Commons Page Program

Only 40 graduates selected Canada-wide, both students attend W.J. Mouat Secondary School
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Marianne Garza and Michael Donohue from W.J Mouat have been accepted into the House of Commons Page Program for the 2024/25 school year. (Submitted photo)

Two W.J. Mouat Secondary School students have been accepted into the prestigious House of Commons Page Program in Ottawa.

Michael Donohue and Marianne Garza will work in the House of Commons while they complete the first-year of their undergraduate studies at the University of Ottawa.

Only 40 upcoming graduates are selected from across Canada, so to have two from the same high school is remarkable.

“Michael and I have been friends since kindergarten,” Garza said. “I am very grateful to have someone to talk to throughout the whole process. It certainly makes everything feel easier.”

The program requires applicants to be bilingual. Donohue and Garza were raised in the Abbotsford French immersion program. Donohue is also fluent in Polish.

Donohue will be pursuing a bachelor of arts joint honours in communication and political science in the French immersion stream.

Garza is studying an honours bachelor of commerce in international management. The program focuses on economics and business on a global level and requires certain credits to be taken abroad in later years.

Both students became interested in the program after hearing from a former graduate who completed the program as well as being encouraged by an academic advisor. A long application process included an interview, references, and a criminal background check.

Applicants have to be accepted into one of the eligible post-secondary institutions in the nation’s capital region. They work on a part-time basis for one year. Pages support the Canadian government by providing a range of services to members of Parliament; such as passing along messages to members inside the chamber and marching in the Speaker’s Parade. They are one of few individuals allowed on the floor of the House during a sitting besides members themselves. The program is designed to broaden the knowledge of the parliamentary system to young adults.

“It is truly an honour to be a future employee of the House of Commons,” Donohue said. “I am looking forward to working and gaining professional experience in one of the most important and historical buildings in Canada.”

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About the Author: Ryleigh Mulvihill

I have been a multimedia journalist with The Abbotsford News since February of 2024.
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