Applications are now open for the 2024 Municipal Climate Internship. The deadline to apply is December 12, 2023. Apply Now!
ELC is thrilled to be launching a regionally-focused Municipal Climate Internship!
Building on the success of the Parliamentary Internship for the Environment, we are excited to continue equipping young environmental leaders with the invaluable knowledge, skills and experiences they need to make a difference - now at the municipal level.
About the Internship
In this inaugural pilot year, the Municipal Climate Internship (MCI) will provide three young environmental leaders, age 18-30, with the opportunity to work and learn alongside semi-rural, upper-tier municipalities in Southeastern Ontario that are invested in advancing local climate change solutions. Successful applicants to the program receive a six-month paid internship placement with a host municipality and take part in cohort-based leadership and professional development.
Through the MCI program, interns will gain first-hand experience and knowledge in municipal climate issues, solutions, and local decision-making. Interns will be exposed to various municipal government and political processes and will become well-versed in how climate change is integrated into municipal planning. The knowledge, experience and professional skills gained will help prepare participants for careers as local climate leaders.
Most interns will perform a variety of tasks for their municipality. This could include researching municipal climate mitigation or adaptation solutions, planning for stakeholder engagement events, or preparing information needed for a presentation at a council meeting. Tasks will vary between municipalities and may encompass a wide variety of opportunities depending on their needs. Outside of placement work, interns will participate in leadership and professional development including workshops, sharing their experiences and fireside chats with experts from industry, the nonprofit sector and/or municipal government.
The MCI program runs from January/February to June/July 2024. Interns will receive a monthly stipend of $2,750, for a total of $16,500 over the six months of the program. Interns can expect to work full-time hours (37.5 hours) weekly. Most of this time will be spent with the host municipality, but each week, there will be a couple of hours of ELC programming dedicated to leadership and professional development. In January, all interns will participate in an orientation program to get familiar with municipal government, the municipal climate landscape, and the rest of the cohort before placements begin.
Where is the internship?
In its inaugural year, the MCI pilot program will run in 3 semi-rural municipalities in Southeastern Ontario, all within a 2-3 hr drive from Ottawa, that are working or seeking to work on climate change within their communities and can provide interns with mentorship opportunities about the municipal political process.
Host municipalities for the MCI program are:
Lanark County (Office: Perth, ON)
Frontenac County (Office: Kingston, ON)
United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry (Office: Cornwall, ON)
Who should apply?
ELC values young leaders from all backgrounds and disciplines. We are eager to find youth from the region interested in building careers focused on municipal politics and/or climate leadership in their local communities.
Applicants must be:
Between 18-30 years old as of January 1st, 2024
Permanent residents or citizens of Canada
We especially invite candidates who self-identify as Indigenous, Black, a person of colour, a member of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, a person with a disability, gender-diverse and/or a woman to apply.
ELC recognizes that leadership takes many forms. We also recognize that many pathways exist to gaining the types of skills and competencies needed to be successful in this program and that systemic barriers limit access to opportunities for many groups of people. For this reason, we invite applications from young leaders no matter their level or type of education and no matter their type of leadership experience.
Based on the nature of working for a municipality and our role as a leadership development program, the following are some of the skills, experience, and competencies we value, more than particular credentials, in the selection process:
Demonstrated interest in climate/environment
Demonstrated interest in politics, the political process or political advocacy at any level of government
Exceptional written communication skills in English (proficiency in French is an asset, but not required)
Strong oral communication skills in English
Critical thinking skills
Willingness to learn and engage with different political viewpoints (open-mindedness)
Time management skills
Ability to work both independently and as part of a team
Experience in conducting research and ability to effectively synthesize information
Emotional intelligence (strong asset)
With the local focus of this program, ELC will be looking for candidates who reside or are able to reside within commuting distance (up to 1 hr) of their host municipality's office in Southeastern Ontario. Host offices are located in Perth, ON (Lanark County), Kingston, ON (Frontenac County) and Cornwall, ON (United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry).
For more details about the selection process and internship experience please refer to our FAQ. If you require any reasonable accommodations during the application process, please contact the program manager, Anika Smithson at firstname.lastname@example.org, prior to the application deadline.
Note: As a program working with different municipalities and run by a charity, we maintain a high standard for ethics and integrity. Successful applicants will be expected to comply with our code of conduct and conflict of interest and anti-lobbying policies (among others). ELC also has policies in place to prevent individuals involved in governing our organization or funding this program from seeking political influence through the program.
Applications are now open for the Municipal Climate Internship. The deadline to apply is December 12, 2023. Apply now!
Frequently Asked Questions
Launching as a pilot initiative in fall 2023, the Municipal Climate Internship (MCI) will provide three young environmental leaders, age 18-30, with the opportunity to work and learn alongside semi-rural, upper-tier municipalities in Southeastern Ontario invested in advancing local climate change solutions.
Through the MCI program, interns gain first-hand experience and knowledge in municipal climate issues, solutions, and local decision-making. Interns will be exposed to various municipal government and political processes and will become well-versed in how climate change is integrated into municipal planning. Most interns will perform a variety of tasks for their municipality. This could include researching municipal climate mitigation or adaptation solutions, planning for stakeholder engagement events or preparing information for a presentation at a council meeting. Tasks will vary between municipalities and may encompass a wide variety of opportunities depending on local needs. Outside of placement work, interns will participate in professional and leadership development, including training workshops and fireside chats with experts from industry, the nonprofit sector or municipal government. The knowledge, experience and professional skills gained will help prepare participants for careers as local climate leaders.
The MCI is an intensive and exciting experience! Interns can expect to be working full time (37.5 hours/week) for the six-month internship. Most of this time will be spent with the host municipality but, each week, there will be a couple of hours of ELC programming dedicated to leadership and professional development. Interns are expected to attend regularly scheduled programming such as workshops, fireside chats and/or ELC events. In January, all interns will participate in an orientation to get familiar with municipal government, the municipal climate landscape, and the rest of the cohort before placements begin. Programming may take place on evenings and weekends. It sounds like a lot, but you will be supported by the Program Manager, your host municipality, and your peers along the way. Following the program, interns can expect to remain in touch and be supported as program alumni, and to have the chance to support future interns as mentors.
ELC recognizes the existence of power disparities in society that benefit certain communities while marginalizing and/or oppressing other groups. As an organization, ELC has an ongoing commitment to advancing anti-oppressive and anti-racist goals in all areas of its work and at every level of the organization, including within the internship program. This includes incorporating anti-oppressive approaches into the application and hiring process, providing risk awareness and workplace readiness training to incoming interns, and having a zero-tolerance policy for harassment and discrimination in our partner agreements.
We recognize that there are unique challenges and contradictions posed by the context in which the MCI program operates. Current government institutions have a legacy of creating, permitting and perpetuating power disparities resulting in significant and enduring harm, both direct and indirect, to certain marginalized groups and to individuals within these communities. We recognize that many effects of past harms, such as the legacy of the residential school system on Indigenous peoples, continue to be felt today.
We also recognize that the majority of municipal politicians/elected officials are from privileged groups (i.e. white, male, cis-gender, etc.), and that women, BIPOC individuals, members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, and individuals with a disability are among the groups who are significantly and disproportionately underrepresented in municipal governments and who face systemic barriers to access. This not only perpetuates cycles of oppression but, at the workplace level, risks exacerbating existing power imbalances between interns and those in positions of authority.
We are committed to elevating interns from all backgrounds, to supporting interns in navigating and overcoming systemic barriers, and to ensuring a safe and respectful working environment for all program participants and staff. Our full (and evolving) statement of practice on Equity and Anti-Oppression, which outlines our commitments in more detail, will be publicly available in the near future.
Prospective applicants should complete the application form and upload supporting documents (a copy of your resume and two writing samples). All applications are reviewed by the ELC team. Shortlisted candidates will be contacted in December to schedule interviews. All applicants will be notified of the results of their application, regardless of whether or not they were successful. Due to the overwhelming volume of applications we receive, we do not have the resources to provide feedback on individual applications.
If you have questions during the application process or require reasonable accommodations, please contact the program manager Anika Smithson, email@example.com, prior to the application deadline.
We welcome interns from a range of experiences, disciplines and backgrounds. Some may have a stronger environmental background, others may bring more of a political lens, others may be interested in planning, administration or community leadership. Each intern will bring their own unique set of experiences and viewpoints to the program.
There are many valid ways to approach the learning and work opportunities offered by the MCI program. Though not a prerequirement, one thing we look for is youth who are interested in building future careers in their local communities focused on municipal politics and/or climate leadership. We’d love to hear about what the MCI program could offer you at this stage of your life and career.
As ELC is committed to equity and inclusion, we particularly encourage individuals who self-identify as 2SLGBTQIA+, Indigenous, Black, a person of colour, a person with a disability, gender-diverse and/or a woman to apply.
We are looking for individuals with core skills, experiences, and competencies that include:
Demonstrated interest in climate/environment and local government/solutions
Community and/or political involvement
Education, lived experience, volunteer and/or extra-curricular activities that relate to the environment/climate change
Communication and writing skills
We understand there are various ways to develop these skills - such as through courses, work, and/or volunteer opportunities - and we’d love to hear about your experiences in these areas or any other ways you've developed these skills and interests.
Our application process offers a few opportunities for you to share more about your lived experiences, experiences in community engagement and leadership, as well as why you believe this program is the perfect fit for you right now. We're not just looking for candidates with the most impressive resumes. We want individuals who can contribute to the program and also benefit from it.
We aim to create a diverse cohort of young people with different political perspectives, lived experiences, and environmental interests. So, we encourage you to let your personality shine through in your application. Tell us who you are, where you're at, and what you hope to achieve by being part of the program. We're excited to get to know you better!
Due to the local nature of the MCI pilot, we cannot accept candidates who are not able to commute (up to 1 hr.) to their host municipality’s office whether that be Perth, ON (Lanark County), Kingston, ON (Frontenac County) or Cornwall, ON (United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry) . While we may not be able to accept your application this year as a result, you may be eligible for future cohorts as we expand the MCI program within and beyond Ontario.
If you do not live in Southeastern Ontario, but can relocate to live with family or relatives in the area for the duration of the internship you are welcome to apply. Please understand that ELC does NOT provide reimbursement for MCI relocation expenses and you must be able to relocate before orientation begins and remain until the end of the program.
No. ELC’s MCI program is unique in that we believe leadership can take many forms – there is NO educational prerequisite. While we include educational accomplishments in our selection criteria, we also consider applicants’ other experiences and accomplishments. Interns should be equipped to work in a fast-paced environment that requires a high level of reading comprehension and writing skills.
No, the program is structured to be full-time with leadership and professional development programming in addition to working with the municipality. Interns will get the most out of the program when they can commit their full attention to the internship.
Students in the midst of completing a degree, diploma or certificate program may wish to consider talking to their school to see if this program would be a good fit for any internship, work term or co-op placement required as part of their studies.
For those enrolled in school part-time (i.e. 1-2 courses, night school), you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org prior to the application deadline to discuss individual situations.
No, the program is structured to be full-time. We consider program modifications only in very rare circumstances.
Interns’ experiences vary between municipalities and can change depending on their needs. A typical work day for interns could include communications work, conducting research, special projects, and/or attending events with their supervisor. We work with host municipalities to ensure interns have a range of learning opportunities. Some administrative work is expected of all interns. You will be primarily working out of your host municipality's office with some periods of remote work.
You may take direction on your work and receive mentorship from the Warden, Councillors and/or the CAO, giving you the opportunity to gain exposure to both the political and staff side of municipal government.
Yes, all interns receive a monthly stipend of $2,750 to help cover living expenses.
We want interns to be in a position to succeed in this program. By providing stipends and other financial support, we hope to enable the participation of interns coming from a variety of different contexts. In addition to the stipend, ELC will help interns cover some of the transportation costs related to commuting to their place of work, attending in-person events and use of personal electronic devices/internet. We also provide interns with a $1000 personalized professional development budget so interns can access relevant learning or training that isn’t otherwise directly covered in our programming.
Yes, interns can hold party membership, though they must maintain political neutrality in the office (for example, not actively discussing or promoting partisan activities undertaken during their own time).
Interns may not play a significant public-facing role, whether paid or volunteer, for a party, elected official, or candidate for office at the federal or provincial level during the period of the internship (e.g. service as volunteer coordinator or volunteer in your MPP’s office).
No, the internship is open to anyone, ages 18-30, who is at least a permanent resident. Please note that ELC is unable to accept applicants who do not have permission to work full-time in Canada and cannot assist you in obtaining a work permit.
No, you do not need to be bilingual, although it’s an asset.
As interns will need to be located within commuting distance of their host municipality’s office you have the option to identify on your application which municipality you would like to work with. In the event you list multiple municipalities, the hiring team will select who you are placed with.
You will gain invaluable experience, first-hand exposure to municipal government and decision-making, leadership skills, professional development training, access to expert guest speakers and sector leaders, a network of peers, local contacts, a deeper understanding of climate issues and their solutions and much more!