Aaqilah Charron received a unique perspective about the Canadian parliamentary system and democracy this past weekend, as she and other youth from around Canada travelled to Ottawa to participate in a mock session of the Senate.
The program is entitled Parlement jeunesse pancanadien, or Canadian Youth Parliament, and it was held in Ottawa from Jan. 11-14.
Charron, who attends Ecole Heritage in Falher, is one of 96 students from across the county to participate in Parlement jeunesse pancanadien.
Charron was surprised to be chosen and she was thrilled to go.
“I want to learn how Canadian Parliament works and to meet other people from across Canada,” says Charron.
She had to write an essay explaining why she applied and what she wants to get out of the event. She applied in early October 2017 and learned in November that she was accepted. Participants play one of three roles: deputy, media or page. Charron served as a page in the mock activities. During the mock parliament, she was assigned a political party and served as a page to the deputies within that party.
As Principal Nicole Walisser points out, the schedule is quite busy, as participants arrive at Parliament Hill early in the morning and participate in daily mock parliament proceedings. Walisser is pleased Charron was able to go to the event.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for Aaqilah,” says Walisser.
“She will have a first-hand experience as to how parliamentary process works. She will expand her knowledge of the Canadian democratic system, make new friendships and benefit from her French culture and language in the city of Ottawa.”
Look for a follow-up story with Charron later.
More information about Parlement jeunesse pancanadien can be found at http://fjcf.ca/projets/evenements-nationaux/parlement-jeunesse-pancanadien.