April 2003
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Forum for Young Canadians
By Emily T., Grade 12, Marystown Central High, Burin, NL

During March 15-22 the first session of 2003 took place in Ottawa for the Forum for Young Canadians. This is a program that allows students from all over Canada to learn how our country is governed and to obtain hands-on experience practicing for the future.

Attending the Forum will leave you with life-long friendships, a better understanding of civic values, an insight into the challenges of governing Canada, and a deep sense of pride in yourself and your fellow students. You will participate in simulations of elections, cabinet meetings, sittings of the House of Commons and a federal-provincial conference. You will debate the important issues facing Canada with other young Canadians from across the country. You will learn about the legislative, executive and judicial functions of government from politicians' political staff, judges or their representatives, federal public servants, lobbyists, journalists and members of the diplomatic community.

Aside from all the political aspects of Forum, you have an opportunity to meet other students from across Canada. The future representatives of our nation, the next supreme court judge or maybe even the next prime minister. Every person there shares a common interest. These are the kind of people who actually care about the troubles and trials of our country. You can have a debate and both persons go away knowing something that they didn't know when they first started or looking at the situation in a different way to help understand the concept.

I learned about Forum from a teacher at my school. I was provided with an application that www.forum.ca. The Forum for Young Canadians is open to any student in high school, French or English. Everything that was done or said was translated to your preferred language. This gives you the opportunity to practice your second language or learn a whole new one.

Overall Forum for Young Canadians was an amazing, interesting, intriguing and fun experience. I gained self-esteem, public speaking skills and learned more then I can explain. Most of all I met bright, intelligent young people who I'm sure we will be seeing in our nation's government in the future!


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