Mount student Morgan Hussey was awarded the Andrew and Charles R. Bronfman Award in 2023.  Read about Morgan’s trip below:

My Ottawa experience  – Morgan Hussey

The sunset happening over a historical building in Ottawa

Award Experience Overview

I was awarded the Andrea and Charles R. Bronfman Award in Canadian Studies and the Marial Mosher Canadian Studies Award for my paper on “Recent revelations about Hockey Canada’s handling of sexual assault cases raise pressing questions about accountability and responsibility in the governance of sport. What is the appropriate relationship between culture, sport, and the state?”. This award is given annually and supports the recipient’s week-long experience in Ottawa, Ontario to get a glimpse into the inner workings of Canadian politics.

I would like to express my gratitude to the Politics, Economics and Canadian Studies (PECS) Department at MSVU and its donors for making my award experience possible. This is an experience that I will never forget and it has truly opened my eyes to the real-life everyday experiences of those working on the hill.

I travelled to the nation’s capital, Ottawa, Ontario, for my award experience. I was provided with a variety of enriching opportunities and experiences that ranged from meeting Senators, party leaders, and Members of Parliament as well as cultural activities. Some of my most memorable experiences from my time in Ottawa are meeting Senator Jane Cordy (who is an honourary degree recipient from Mount Saint Vincent University), spending a day with Member of Parliament The Honourable Lena Metlege Diab (Halifax West), and visiting the National Gallery of Canada.

The House of Commons

Morgan Hussey and the Honourable Lena Metlege, standing because a wreath of Poppies

Member of Parliament for Halifax West (MSVU’s riding) The Honourable Lena Metlege Diab (pictured at right) and her staff generously hosted me for a day on the hill. This opportunity allowed me to chat with her staffers Isabelle and Conner as well as shadow MP Diab as she went about her day on the hill. Some of the highlights from my time at the House of Commons visiting MP Diab were attending question period, touring the Justice Building, touring the House of Commons, and attending a committee meeting. MP Diab’s staff also invited me to attend an evening reception to celebrate Diwali where I was able to meet a party leader and enjoy the cultural celebrations of the evening.

The Senate of Canada

Senator Jane Cordy and her staff hosted me for a day at the Senate of Canada. This was by far my favourite day of the entire experience as the Senate is one of my main areas of interest in Canadian parliamentary politics.

Morgan Hussey and Senator Jane Cordy, standing in front of a glass window

During my day with Senator Cordy (pictured at right) , I was able to chat with her, tour her office, and have lunch in the parliamentary dining room. This is a dining experience I will never forget. After lunch, we walked from Senator Cordy’s office to the Senate of Canada building where I was able to meet Senate staffers and watch Senate proceedings.

Senator Cordy arranged for me to be introduced during Senate proceedings which was a very special once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will always remember. After Senate proceedings wrapped up for the day, I was able to observe a Senate committee meeting which Senator Cordy chairs. The committee was hearing from witnesses on the issue which they were discussing which made for an interesting committee session.

The National Gallery of Canada

My experience at the National Gallery of Canada is one to remember. As part of my cultural activities while in Ottawa I toured the National Gallery of Canada. For me, the most memorable exhibit was the Indigenous art exhibit. This exhibit focused on showcasing Indigenous artists from across Canada through different mediums of art. The outside art exhibits were another highlight of my time at the National Gallery of Canada.


the Indigenous art exhibit on the ceiling at the National Gallery of Canada

Overall, my experience in Ottawa made me more aware of Canadian parliamentary politics and allowed me to experience firsthand life on the hill.

In addition to the experiences detailed above, I visited the Michaëlle Jean Foundation, the Canadian Museum of History, and the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law to meet with Professor Constance Backhouse.

This award experience is truly tailored to the recipient’s interests and professors in the PECS Department did an excellent job of organizing experiences for the trip which I am very grateful for. I would highly encourage future students to apply for the Andrea and Charles R. Bronfman Award in Canadian Studies. This award experience truly opened my eyes to Canadian politics and life on the hill.

I would like to thank the PECS department, its donors, and my hosts while in Ottawa for making this experience possible. I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who made the Andrea and Charles R. Bronfman Award in Canadian Studies and the Marial Mosher Canadian Studies Award possible through their generosity.



Mount student Nathan Horne was the recipient of the Andrew and Charles R. Bronfman Award in 2016. Nathan’s adventures included time spent shadowing three Members of Parliament and more. Read about Nathan’s week in Ottawa, in his words.

My Ottawa experience – Nathan Horne
Nathan Horne and Andy Fillmore“[In] November, 2016, I was lucky enough to find myself the recipient of the Mount Saint Vincent University Political and Canadian Studies Department’s Andrea and Charles R. Bronfman Award in Canadian Studies.
This award is given to students who take Canadian Studies courses and submit an essay on a topic outlined every year in the application. This year the topic was: as Prime Minister, what would you immediately give attention to that the current government is failing to. My answer was the crises of indigenous people in Canada, their living conditions, incarcerations, land claims denials, and mental health.
This February 2017, as part of the award, I travelled to Ottawa for a week to see Parliament Hill and shadow numerous officials in their day-to-day operations on the front line of Canadian government. During my stay in Ottawa, I shadowed and met with two Members of Parliament, Darren Fisher for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour and Andy Fillmore for Halifax. I was delighted to discuss with them their passions and the causes they advocate for. Darren Fisher is very vocal about mental health support and awareness, while Andy Fillmore is an environmentalist.
I was able to shadow the Speaker of the House, the Honourable Geoff Reagan, and was given a full tour of Centre Block. I sat in on two question period sessions and saw what could be described as the most entertaining aspect of tradition and pageantry in Canadian government. I was treated to lunch in the parliamentary restaurant by MP Darren Fisher, and on one of my final days, I visited the Supreme Court of Canada, where I witnessed a hearing involving a pharmaceutical company and alleged fraud charges.
Altogether the experience was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I will never forget it. It has further motivated me to pursue a career in government and perhaps one-day sit in the House of Commons as a Member of Parliament myself. I would recommend any Canadian Studies students or students enrolled in the required Canadian Studies courses to pursue this scholarship next year and submit an essay. It is truly an invaluable experience.”