Grade 10 student Alexander F. travelled to Ottawa over March Break for the Forum for Young Canadians, read about his experience:
From the moment I arrived in Ottawa it was a very exciting time. I had the good fortune to be in Ottawa during a week when an election was called and I had the opportunity to learn all about its process first hand. I was able to participate in simulations and panel presentations. I participated in a simulated election, parliament, and debates while learning how to influence public policy. The Forum for Young Canadians is non-partisan, so that means that no matter your political leanings, you get to hear from all the major political parties in Canada.
In addition, I learned how difficult it is to make laws and how difficult it is to have your opinion align with those of others in order to get a law written in so that all those involved are satisfied. This process taught me how to get my opinion heard during a voting simulation by debating issues that were important in a mock government. I was elected Prime Minister of my group and I presented the group’s issues on immigration to the forum. I delivered the speech in English and in French to the best of my ability. For my efforts in speaking French, I received the Second Language Award! The whole experience was amazing!
I visited the Senate, the House of Commons, the Library, and the public viewing area in Parliament.
I was able to meet and have dinner with the Welland riding Member of Parliament, Malcolm Allen, on Parliament Hill. Also present at the dinner were other MPs, Senators, and VIPs from across Canada. We heard speeches from MPs and Ministers about their stories.
I wanted to participate in the Forum for Young Canadians because I am very interested in law and politics and the forum gave me the opportunity to learn more about these topics.
I found the experience to be very enjoyable and informative and it helped me to make the decision to pursue a career in law.