Members of Hastings Lennox and Addington MP Mike Bossio’s youth council had the chance to meet Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last Wednesday as part of their expedition to Ottawa’s Parliament Hill.
The youth council arrived on a chartered Deseronto Transit bus and started their day with a personal tour of Parliament by Bossio. It included the original Library of Parliament, which survived the 1916 fire, the Senate and the House of Commons. A particular highlight among the members was the chance to sit in the speaker’s chair.
After lunch in the parliamentary dining room, where the students and Bossio engaged in a lively discussion of political issues, the council attended question period. New under the current government, Wednesday’s question period is “prime minister’s questions,” where Trudeau answers all questions, not just from official party leaders.
After question period, the group met with Trudeau, who thanked them for getting engaged in their community and pointed out that the advice that they give Bossio is an important part of how he represents his constituents.
Among the 15 students were Ariel Burgess, Ben Bell, Kate Brown, Jonah Korporaal and Meghan Mosgrove from NDSS, Callum Levett fom Bath and Lauren Dowling from Ernestown Secondary School. The rest were made up from across Bossio’s riding.
“It was such a great experience, and a great opportunity for learning about and appreciating Canada,” said Brown.
“It was an amazing experience that allowed us to glimpse what it’s like to be a part of the Canadian political system,” said Dowling. “I truly appreciate the opportunity.”
The youth council, now finishing its second year, is made up of young people ages 15-19 from across the riding who meet with Bossio to advise him on issues that matter to youth.
This year, the group identified the environment and climate change and foreign affairs as their key priorities that they wanted to focus their work on. “I am so very proud of this group,” said Bossio. “Their level of engagement, knowledge of important issues, intellect and passion are all extraordinary. Our future is truly in good hands.” A new council will be formed in September 2018 for a third year.