Institute for Future Legislators

Important update on the 2020 IFL program:

The CSDI is closely monitoring the ever-changing situation with Covid-19 and its impacts across all variety of activities.

After much deliberation, we made the incredibly difficult decision to cancel this year’s Institute for Future Legislators program. This was a painful decision to have to make. We cannot overstate how much we look forward to delivering the IFL every year, and it is particularly difficult given how much this crisis has highlighted the importance of good leadership, now and in the future.

There is some good news! Instead, the CSDI at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs has teamed up with its partners at the Faculty of Arts at Ryerson University to co-present a free virtual series that will expose you to our repository of seasoned political practitioners who will share their insights, experience and expertise on effective leadership, democracy, communications, and engagement and what it means during a global crisis.

For those of you who are UBC students, POLI 308B –the optional 3-credit course that students may take alongside the IFL program in order to get credits – will be delivered online as a stand-alone online summer 2020 course. Please check the summer course listings for more information.

If you have any questions, feel free to message Rebecca Monnerat at:


About the IFL program

Have you ever thought about running for public office? Do you wonder what it would be like to serve as a legislator? If you have political aspirations, but want to know more about what being a legislator means and how to be most effective in that role, apply to UBC’s Institute for Future Legislators (IFL). The Institute provides intensive hands-on mentoring and training for anyone who seeks the experience and knowledge necessary to make a difference—whether at the local, provincial, or federal level. 

Legislators play a critical role in addressing the most pressing issues we face today. But too often they arrive unprepared for the demands of office. The IFL prepares participants to not only know what to expect but to serve with integrity.

Experienced political leaders will share their knowledge and expertise based on years of service in public office. Academic experts provide instruction and guidance through the issues and institutions you need to know to be a legislator. Veteran political journalists will advise participants on media and communications. Participants will engage in simulations and role playing – both in discrete exercises and as part of a program-long simulation culminating in a weekend legislative session. Each participant will represent a constituency, be assigned to roles in political parties and committees and work through draft legislation on salient issues. Reflective dialogue sessions provide the opportunity for participants to step back from the simulations and reflect on their experiences, good and bad practices, and what kind of practitioner they want to be.

Every year, the UBC Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions invites applications from a diverse and cross-partisan group of people, including all ages and backgrounds. The only prerequisite is legislative aspirations and a readiness to learn from highly experienced practitioners. You do not need to be a UBC student to participate. 

Past practitioners include: George Abbott, Dawn Black, Larry Campbell, Ujjal Dosanjh, Mike Harcourt, Joy MacPhail, Preston Manning, Anne McLellan, Chuck Strahl, Carole Taylor and many others.

Topics include:

  • Legislatures & Legislative Life
  • Parliamentary Relationships
  • Political Ethics & Judgement
  • Working in the House
  • Gender in Politics
  • Communications
  • Representation
  • Constituency Service

PROGRAM DATES for 2020 have been cancelled due to concerns over Covid-19. Typically, program dates include three weekend-long workshops and simulations (9am-5pm, Saturdays and Sundays), for two weeks in July, and the final parliamentary simulation held in Victoria in August.

Financial assistance may be available. If the program fee poses a barrier to your participation, please indicate this on your application form, and we will be in touch about available assistance.

Current undergraduate UBC students wanting to take the program for course credit (registering for POLI 308b, a 3-credit course). Seminar dates: Summer Term 2, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10am-1pm in Buch D219.* (Potential that this course will be delivered online.)

“Attending the Institute for Future Legislators was one of the best educational experiences I have had in my life and truly a proud accomplishment. Not only did I meet amazing people along the way, but I was able to gain new knowledge and learn about my personal strengths. I received hands-on training on how to be a member of caucus and a Member of Parliament. The program not only inspired me to run for office but prepared me for my next election for Squamish Nation Chief and Council. From this experience, I learned how be an accountable, transparent leader and politician. I am grateful to have been recognized as one of the most inspiring leaders and future legislators. Thank you UBC for granting me this amazing opportunity! Huy chexw!” ~ Crystal Lewis, IFL 2018 Participant

Questions? Contact CSDI:
Rebecca Monnerat, Project Manager
Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions
University of British Columbia
Tel. 604-827-4390