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P.E.I. native now in the Senate spotlight after she was made deputy chief page

P.E.I. native Sarah Crosby is sworn in as one of 15 Senate pages in Canada’s upper chamber last year. Crosby was honoured last week when she was sworn in as Deputy Chief Page of the Senate. SUBMITTED PHOTO
P.E.I. native Sarah Crosby is sworn in as one of 15 Senate pages in Canada’s upper chamber last year. Crosby was honoured last week when she was sworn in as Deputy Chief Page of the Senate. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Sarah Crosby went from working behind the scenes of Canada’s upper chamber to being honoured the Senate’s spotlight last week.

The 23-year-old Sherwood, P.E.I. native was sworn in as the deputy chief page for the Senate chamber last Thursday.

Crosby began working as a Senate page last year with the role including a number of valuable tasks that often remain largely out of most Canadians’ sight.

However, during the swearing in ceremony, Crosby was led into the chambers by a bagpiper and was surrounded by family members as she was honoured with the new role.

 “I was kind of teary-eyed,” said Crosby. “I’m very lucky.”

Although Crosby grew up in P.E.I., she is is far from unfamiliar with the Hill.

She previously spent two summers as a tour guide on the Hill and completed a year as a Senate page before taking on the leadership role.

“I had experience doing tours, but this showed me a totally different aspect of what goes on at the Hill, “ said Crosby, who is in her fourth year at the University of Ottawa.

Her position in the Senate has also offered some invaluable experience towards her degree, with Crosby majoring in political science with a Spanish minor.

“My work is so relevant to my classes, that sometimes you get to class and joke ‘I literally lived through what we’re talking about today,’” she said. “I couldn’t put a value on (my job).”

Pages are responsible for providing a range of services to ensure effective operation of the Senate and its committees. It’s a non-partisan role that entails everything from distributing bills and files to senators, to undertaking special requests from the day’s sitting and participating in special events, conferences and outreach programs.
The role was a well-established piece of Canada’s parliament by 1868, although the title of “page” first began appearing in the Journals of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada in 1841.

It’s also a very limited position, with only 15 university students being chosen to work as Senate pages every year.

With Crosby in the final year of her undergraduate, she knows this will also be the last year she’ll be eligible to work as a page.

After originally hearing about the program through another page from P.E.I., Crosby said she would recommend the opportunity to anyone.

She said the job is not just for those politically inclined, with pages included those studying a range of subjects, including history, journalism and even biology.

“Those who want a new experience, I would definitely 100 per cent apply for this program,” she said. “I’ve learned so much since starting the job, it’s like an immersion.”

Mitchell.macdonald@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/Mitch_PEI

P.E.I. native Sarah Crosby, centre, is surrounded by her parents Kim and Kent Crosby as well as acting mace bearer Julien Labrosse, left, and fellow Islander and Usher of the Black Rod Greg Peters, right, after being sworn in as Deputy Chief Page of the Senate last Thursday. Crosby is entering her second year of the upper chamber’s page program. ©THE GUARDIAN/Submitted photo
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