Youth and politics are combining for an annual session in Victoria.
From December 27th through December 31st, nearly one hundred youth between the ages of 16-21 will take over the Legislative Assembly of BC for the 91st Session of the British Columbia Youth Parliament (BCYP).
According to a press release issued from the BCYP, the youth will learn from MLAs of various political parties, members of the media and non-partisan civil servants about the political structure in Canada.
The beginnings of the organization date back to 1924 with the BCYP annually meeting to create plans and propose projects for the upcoming year.
The organization outlines that this year’s projects include running six Regional Youth Parliaments throughout the province focused on teaching high-school students about British Columbia’s Westminster Parliamentary Democracy and operating Camp Phoenix, a week-long sleep-away summer camp for kids who would not otherwise be able to attend summer camp.
Additionally, this year Members will also discuss the details of hosting the first “Canada Youth Parliament” later this year in Victoria. All BYCP Members will vote on these projects as independents.
“There are so many incredible aspects of BCYP, but by far the most impactful is the platform it gives our members. It empowers us to make positive change in our communities and challenges us to see past our differences,” said Ranil Prasad, Premier of the 91st British Columbia Youth Parliament. “In a time where politics is seen as an increasingly divisive area, BCYP shows that it is possible to have different views and be respectful at the same time.”
The BCYP also said that members will have the opportunity to discuss important social issues through Private Members Resolutions. The social issues that the organization plans on debating this year is banning single-use plastics, stopping lead in drinking water and the re-certification of drivers.