Nearly 100 youth fill B.C. legislature for 95th annual Youth Parliament

CHEK

The B.C. legislature is not the busiest place right now, with most MLAs home for the holidays. But that doesn’t mean the house has fallen silent.

The 95th annual BC Youth Parliament is currently in session, and as CHEK’s Jordan Cunningham found out, B.C.’s future seems to be in good hands.

A collection of fresh-faced, keen-eyed kids filled the house chambers at the B.C. legislature on Friday, complete with a young sergeant at arms and speaker.

It has everything you’d expect to see in the real B.C. government.

“I get to lead a really great group of cabinet ministers in proposing legislation,” said Megan Ryan-Lloyd, youth parliament premier.

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Youth Parliament Premier Megan Ryan-Lloyd speaks with CHEK’s Jordan Cunningham on Dec. 29, 2023.

Ryan-Lloyd represents the Victoria-Beacon Hill riding. All of B.C.’s 87 electoral districts are represented.

Participating youth determine the direction of the nearly 100-year-old organization, from community service to education.

Debate has real-world consequences for youth programs in the province, and it can get scrappy.

“We like to ground ourselves in principles of collaborative debate in recognizing that we’re all here to serve the youth of British Columbia,” said Ryan-Lloyd.

Participants, aged 16 to 21, will be in the legislative assembly until New Year’s Eve.

The youth parliament is intended to give participants a taste of how the provincial government system works, as well as create connections with other politically-minded young people and help shape the direction of youth programs.

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