We often talk about youth as “leaders of tomorrow”. But, over the past month, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many inspiring youth who have proven to me that they are already leaders within our community.
On February 17, I joined elected representatives from all three levels of government, school trustees and parents, at the Nelson McIntyre Collegiate’s Mac’s Agent of Change Exhibition (MACE). Grade 9 students presented their ideas on how to improve the electoral process at all levels of government, and how the various roles and responsibilities of government branches could be reorganized. I had some great discussions with really knowledgeable students! They did a great job researching and defending their subjects.
A week later, I met with 12 French and 12 Canadian youth (aged 18-25) who were participating in the Canadian Museum for Human Rights’ École des droits de la personne (School for Human Rights. In its second year, this joint partnership between CMHR, the International Institute for Human Rights and Peace and Université de Saint-Boniface provides a unique week-long opportunity for youth from France and Canada to study and discuss issues related to diversity and inclusion within our democracies.
Back in Ottawa, I ran into a great group of Grade 8 students from Island Lakes Community School, who were visiting our nation’s capital. By the looks of it, they seemed to be having a lot of fun touring the sights and even having a mock court case in the Supreme Court!
I also met with Bethany Kolisniak and Julia Pound from our riding, in town for Forum for Young Canadians. Forum is one of many great programs that bring youth from across Canada to Ottawa for an in-depth look and education on the workings of government. It’s always great to meet with them!
Saint Boniface – Saint Vital youth shine brightly across Canada. For instance, in the past two years, two students from our riding have received a prestigious Loran Award: Sila Rogen (2017) and Bilal Ayyache (2016). They were each chosen as one of up to 33 recipients from a field of over 4,000 applicants annually. This is a tremendous and well-deserved accomplishment for both of them!
Whether it be at local events, or during a meeting with the Saint Boniface – Saint Vital youth council, it is truly encouraging and inspiring to see and hear the incredible engagement of youth to our community, our province and our country. Our future is indeed looking very bright!