At the Sept. 18 regular town meeting, council discussed a letter sent by the Youth Parliament of British Columbia asking the town to encourage youth from in this area to apply to become members of the Youth Parliament and sit in a debate in the legislative chambers for five days from Dec. 27 to 31, 2012.
The Youth Parliament is non-partisan and teaches citizenship skills through participation in the December parliamentary session and in community service activities throughout the year.
Members will be accommodated for four nights at the Harbour Towers Hotel in Victoria. During that time, participants are supervised by members of the board of directors of the BCYP Alumni Society and other youth parliament alumni.
A $270 registration fee is required for each applicant who is accepted as a member of the BCYP, and financial assistance is available for those who cannot meet this expense.
According to the brochure for the Youth Parliament, “BCYP is unique in that it is not simply a mock or model parliament — the legislation members debate translates into real action in the community,”
“I heard some talk before the meeting that Coun. McGonigal and Coun. Ingram may be going to the high school to talk about Ohtaki, I believe this may be an opportunity to present this as well,” said Coun. Day. “In the past I hand delivered forms and never got any response, and in the past I’ve had a chance to talk to the leadership club and I think we have to go beyond that.”
“It’s a pretty good opportunity,” said Mayor Ross Forrest. “I think it would be worthwhile to maybe look into sponsorship. I think that we would all benefit years down the road.”
In the end, council decided that Coun. Day will approach Pat Biello, a counsellor at the high school, to see if there are any potential candidates for the program.
Council also decided that if such a youth came forward or was highlighted through this process, that the town would consider sponsoring the $270 registration fee.
The deadline for application is Oct. 23, and applicants will be notified whether they have been selected in early November.
For more information on this program, visit bcyp.org/joinus.html, or phone the town office at 250-749-6681.