Legislative page forced to quit to attend Russian forum

A political science student who worked as a page in the Newfoundland and Labrador legislature was forced to quit his job — so he could represent the province at the G20 youth parliament debate in Russia.

Student resigns from job as page to represent province at international youth parliament

Ryan Steeves tells Krissy Holmes why he had to quit his job as a legislative page 1:34

A political science student who worked as a page in the Newfoundland and Labrador legislature was forced to quit his job — so he could represent the province and Canada at an international youth parliament debate in Russia.

About two months ago, Ryan Steeves was asked to attend the G20 youth parliament debate as the province's representative. To go on the trip, Steeves needed three days off.

When he put the request in writing to the clerk's office, he was surprised by the answer he received. 

"I was told that the email I had sent would count as a letter of resignation," said Steeves.

Steeves, 20, is well on his way toward a political future, as a political science student at Memorial University and an executive in youth parliament.

"I was really interested in how the system worked ... I was interested in how the bills were passed and how the debate worked."

Resigned last week

Steeves said he didn't get very far with an appeal and had to resign so he could attend the debate, which he did last week.

He said the situation was frustrating because both programs share the same mandate.

"We get all of our funding really from the government, and I think what just really needs to be done is to smooth the practices of bureacracy within the house."

Steeves said he'd like to work in the house of assembly again, but next time in a different role. 

"Hopefully I'll work as an MHA, or work with an MHA, so that legislative practices will become better."

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