In the House of Commons, Pages serve the Speaker, Chair Occupants, Members of Parliament and Table Officers in various capacities. For example, Pages collect and distribute official documents, deliver important messages to Members, link Members to their Hill offices, answer telephones, make photocopies and deliver glasses of water. On occasion, Pages also meet youth groups to speak about their experiences on Parliament Hill. Professional, impartial and efficient service has become a hallmark of the Page Program.
Those selected as Pages sign a contract with the House of Commons for a one-year term beginning in late August. The contract precludes them from accepting certain other types of employment and from participating in certain other programs. Pages are required to work a minimum of 15 hours a week, and university course schedules are arranged in consultation with the Page Program to ensure that a Page’s academic timetable and House work schedule are compatible.
In late August, new Pages begin their stay in Ottawa with an intensive orientation program that introduces them to their new work environment, duties and other information required to provide Members of Parliament with the high level of service required in the Chamber.
Subject to the fulfilment of the requirements of the contract, Pages are paid $13,049 in 26 equal payments over a 12-month period. In addition, a sum of $1,200 is paid at the end of the employment period.
The House of Commons will pay for transportation between the Page’s permanent residence and Ottawa at the beginning of the term of employment and for return transportation at the end of the term of employment.
A uniform is provided to each Page at the beginning of the employment period and must be returned at the end of the employment period. The men’s uniform consists of a three-piece black suit, white shirt and tie. The women’s uniform consists of a two-piece black suit, comprised of a jacket and pants, and a white blouse. Pages also receive a shoe allowance to purchase appropriate shoes to wear while in uniform.
Pages are responsible for the costs of their own accommodation and for all other related expenses while in Ottawa, including tuition fees, books, food, etc. Pages who come from outside the National Capital Region usually obtain rooms in the university residences.