The Forum for Young Canadians is a week-long program which occurs three times per year in Ottawa. During each session, youth aged 15 to 19 years discover federal and provincial Canadian politics through activities and presentations on politics, policy, and international trade.
From January 28 to February 2, Trafalgar Castle students Jaime, Alex and Mansi took part in in the forum. During their time in Ottawa the girls were given a behind the scenes look into the world of federal politics on Parliament Hill.
Jaime, a Grade 12 student and prefect, shares how interesting it was to sit in on Question Period at the House of Commons, “I was able to see the multiple parties arguing over important issues. What I enjoyed about this was that it was a first-hand experience in the world of politics, and it provided a rare, but eye-opening insight into how the parties function.”
Over the course of the week she feels the biggest thing she learned was how vastly different the opinions of Canadians can be. “As a country, I think we like to believe that we are very united and share a lot of the same core values, but this is not the case, and this is something I was exposed to during my time at the program,” Jaime shares. “These differences make our country the unique place it is, and are important in understanding its citizens and gaining experience in interacting with people who have very different opinions.”
Jaime particularly enjoyed meeting Ron McKinnon, the Liberal MP of the Coquitlam – Port Coquitlam constituency. He played a massive role in passing the Good Samaritan Overdose Act that has helped save lives and ensure all community members can reach out to authorities in times of need.
Jaime is happy she attended the Ottawa Youth Forum for Young Canadians. She was able to meet people from different places and backgrounds and share her thoughts and opinions with these future leaders. Jaime hopes that other Trafalgar girls learn more about this opportunity. “The biggest reason I would recommend this program is because of the experiences, the knowledge, and the understanding that you gain from it. It allows you to have a close-up look into politics and experience once in a lifetime opportunities.”
To learn more about the Ottawa Forum for Young Canadians and how to apply visit their website.