This evening marked a new beginning for the upcoming 96th Winter Session, just as we closed our books on 95th Session. We began the night with our Closing Ceremonies which were followed by our 96th Winter Session Executive Election.
The House passed five bills this session: The Environmental Rights Act, the Plural Marriage Act, the Police Review Act, the Holistic Education Act, and the Prisoner Education Act. Unfortunately, neither the Military Reform Act, nor the Health and Labour Balance passed the Third Reading in the House.
This session was met with many unexpected difficulties. Not only did our Members begin the week by trekking through a blizzard, but a bout of sickness worked its way through the House. Despite these setbacks, our Parliamentarians participated in one of our most productive sessions of passionate debate and active political discussion. We also successfully initiated our Reconciliation Fund with the aim to increase accessibility to Indigenous Youth within our programming. YPM executives will continue to expand on this program in upcoming sessions so that all youth can have a chance to participate and learn about the political process. Youth will continue to learn the necessary skills to engage in political change within Canada’s Westminster Parliamentary system.
We would like to congratulated the executive of the 96th Winter Session: Premier, Ariel Melamedoff; Speaker, Joey Broda; Deputy Premier, Adrienne Tessier; Deputy Speaker, Deborah Tsao; and House Leader, Abby Theano-Pudwill.
Today marks the end of the second last day of debates in the Legislative Chamber where we voted and passed three of the four pieces of legislation. Members engaged in heated debate on the Holistic Education Act, Environmental Rights Act, Armed Forces Reform Act, and Police Review Act.
Tomorrow, we will debate the final two pieces of legislation, the Health and Labour Balance Act, and the Plural Marriage Act.
This afternoon we hosted our annual Bear Pit session in the House. We invited former politicians from all political ideologies to come speak to the House about their careers in politics, and followed this with a Q&A period. Despite their dissenting political views, our “bears” engaged equally with the Members in the discussion. Much of the session revolved around Indigenous issues and best methods for moving forward with social activism. Members also asked the bears questions about the six bills that were debated in Youth Parliament this session.
Day two of YP has now come to an end
Though fun and exciting, debate we suspend
Until the next day, of which we will spend
Another great day with newly-formed friends.
We started debate on exactly four bills
Which parliamentarians put on the grill
One of which talked about why the cops kill
People of colour – they need to chill
Another bill wanted to make it a right
For humans to be free from natural blight
The planet is dying, a truly big fright
For all of our assets on Earth are finite
How about those who want more than one spouse?
They should be able to live in one house
And marry each other without public grouse
They’ll no longer have to live life as a mouse
Finally, citizens work toward peace
By serving conscription before a release
From fighting, first aid, and random elbow grease
The army will own you for ten years. Capisce?
We’ll send these bills off to committees in time
In which they’ll come out looking super sublime
So come to the House and see us at our prime
We promise our speeches won’t end in a rhyme!
It was dark and stormy. The streets were filled with lost souls and reckless abandon. This morning, we began our session in perhaps the most Manitoban way possible, in the midst of a snowstorm. Our diligent and dedicated cabinet and executive members trekked through the ice and snow to arrive at Kelvin High School this morning for 8:00 am.
Our dedicated troops channeled the skills learned in the Armed Forces Reform Act to follow the dogmatic doctrine of our Premier. After hours of strenuous labour, to the dismay of the elements who had tried so hard to watch us fail, we successfully cleared a path from the clogged street to the entrance of the school. The bleak remnants of our vitality carried us through our physical isolation.
This was not the end of our misery. Our executive expelled their final burst of energy to reach for the door handle, hoping for some gentle relief in the drifts of endless misery. They reached out desperate hands, only to find that the door was locked. The sound of twenty-four hearts shattering rang through the cold, empty air.
Cabinet members took refuge in the surrounding vehicles, the limited shelter we could find in the desolate landscape.
****** Time passes******
After minutes of waiting in the comfort of our own agony, the Minster of Revenue found the contact information for the custodian on Google. The custodian arrived within the hour and let us into the building. We entered the school and collapsed at the heath of the innards of Kelvin High School, knowing we would survive to debate again.
This year Youth Parliament of Manitoba began a new initiative called the Reconciliation Fund, with the aim to increase accessibility to Indigenous youth. We are excited to announce the success of this fund in raising over $4000, meaning up to ten Indigenous members can come to Winter Session free of cost. This includes the cost of registration, food, travel, and clothing.
We would like to thank the efforts of the organizations, schools, and dedicated community members that helped to make the Reconciliation Fund a reality. Further, we would like to thank our Minister of Reconciliation, Ronald Gamblin for his pivotal work with this initiative.
Youth Parliament of Manitoba is delighted to announce that our Honorary President for this upcoming session will be the 29th Speaker of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly and former Transcona MLA, the Honourable Daryl Reid. First elected in 1990, Mr. Reid served for 26 years, until the most recent provincial election earlier this year when he chose not to seek re-election.
Additionally, we are honoured to welcome Dr. Kristel van Ineveld as the Lieutenant Governor for the 95th Winter Session. An esteemed physician, Dr. van Ineveld currently serves as Associate Professor in the Section of Geriatric Medicine within the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Manitoba. She currently practices primarily out of St. Boniface Hospital as the medical lead for the Geriatrics Program where her focus is on outpatient care and outreach. This is not the first time that Dr. van Ineveld will make an appearance at the Youth Parliament of Manitoba as she served as both Member and Parliamentary Secretary in the 58-60th Winter Sessions alongside Darren Praznik and Graham Steele among others.
peaker’s Night 2016 was a resounding success, with 60 people gathered together to celebrate YPM and support our annual Winter Session. Aimeé Craft gave an inspiring talk about Anishinaabe Law and Reconciliation, encouraging all who attended to read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action. Thank you once again to all who attended. A special thank you to our title sponsor, the Winnipeg Free Press, and our table sponsors: Tapper Cuddy LLP, Heather Sarna Designs, and Solara Remote Data Delivery Inc.
YPM (in association with Aboriginal Youth Opportunities and the Association of Former Members of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly) hosted a debate between representatives of the Communist, Green, NDP, Liberal, and PC parties on March 10th, 2016 at the University of Winnipeg. Debate was lively, with candidate weighing in on support for students, COP21, Mincome, and other issues facing Manitoban youth. A full video of the event can be found here. To see more pictures, visit our Facebook page.
Special thanks to the University of Winnipeg for providing the venue for this event, and to Julia Minarik for taking pictures.
Join us for Speaker’s Night 2016 on April 28th, 2016 at 5:30 pm at the Winnipeg Winter Club. It promises to be a great event reconnecting with members of the YP community.
Our Keynote Speaker this year is Indigenous lawyer Aimée Craft. Throughout her career, Craft has worked passionately for the rights of Indigenous peoples across Canada. You can read her full bio here.
If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org