A look back on the 89th Parliament

In less than a week, the directors of the 89th Youth Parliament of Manitoba will complete their one-year term, thereby making way for the board of the 90th Parliament. For me, the outgoing Speaker, this means a bittersweet goodbye as I welcome a new generation of youth parliamentarians after an incredible seven years. Where the time has gone, I have no idea.

Since my first day as a backbencher at the 82nd Winter Session, I have witnessed so many organizational changes. When I hear the stories of our alumni, who have long since moved on from their days as youth parliamentarians, I cannot help but marvel at the ongoing evolutions of this Manitoban institution over the last nine decades. This past year was no exception.

Much of our administrative focus in the early stages of the 89th Parliament revolved around our role as hosts of the 14th biennial Western Canada Youth Parliament. Manitoba hosts this event once every eight years, and 2010 was our turn. Over the May long weekend, about 60 young people from across Western Canada met to debate in the Manitoba Legislature, share stories and ideas on our mutual youth parliament experiences, and of course make some new friends. In all, we could not have asked for a more successful session as all in attendance had a memorable and enjoyable time.

Also in May, we hosted our 3rd Annual Speaker’s Night at the Radisson Hotel Winnipeg Downtown. Dr. Lloyd Axworthy delivered the keynote address as our Alumni Achievement Award honouree for 2009.

Next came time to appoint our Cabinet and begin meetings leading up to Winter Session. To name but a few of our initiatives and taskings last fall, we drafted six innovative and timely bills, established the Alumni Society, attended and hosted numerous community events, and established this blog at long last. The 89th Winter Session in itself was truly a remarkable event.

I would like to take a moment to thank each and every one of you who supported us through these efforts. Youth Parliament of Manitoba has a truly vibrant community of supporters. Please continue to follow YPM online through the website, Twitter, Facebook, or “The Youth Parliamentarian” as our members bring you all our latest news.

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