Month: December 2019

Day 4 of Winter Session 98

Over the course of the last 3 days, we have had the privilege to meet and discuss with members from the Liberal, Progressive Conservative and New Democratic parties of Manitoba. During these lunchtime meetings, youth parliament members had the opportunity to pose questions relating to each party’s policies and political stances on environment, budgets and local issues. A common theme throughout the lunches was how each party planned on balancing social and economic deficits. The party representatives also shared their personal stories detailing how they got involved in politics, and their personal priorities and interactions with the public. The representatives also gave heartfelt advice to YPM members who expressed interest in pursuing political careers, even encouraging the members to volunteer for their local MLAs. This experience provided insight into how parties operate and how each member works within the party and in the community.

On Day 3 (or rather Night 3), a group of us young parliamentarians stretched our political involvement beyond the confines of the house. What was intended to be a quick, non-partisan, apolitical game of Settlers of Catan evolved into a heated political drama! The object of the game is to stretch your civilization across an island and gain control over its resources. Seven unassuming colours soon morphed into flags of Canada’s political parties. Green for the Greens, Blue for the Conservatives, Red for the Liberals, Orange for the New Democrats, Purple for People’s Party, brown for the Christian Heritage Party, and White representing the Bloc Québécois. Members, such as the red player, often represented parties with views contrary to their own. Every single move needed to be justified by a political rationale and each player filled the shoes of the party leader (often having fun with impersonations).  As well as being a fun way to spend a Saturday, it was also an effective way to empathize with different perspectives. Every one of us went to sleep with a lasting memory of friendship, fraternity, and fundamental disagreements.

Day 3 of Winter Session 98

Today cabinet stepped back in multiple ways, allowing backbenchers to have their chance in the spotlight. Backbenchers started the day with breakfast and conversation in the legislature, which allowed our ministry of labour a much needed sleep-in after days of preparing meals! Breakfast was followed by a very candid question and answer session with former MLAs and MPs. This session, dubbed the ‘bear pit’ is a formidable experience, because former politicians often answer questions with a high degree of nuance and honesty.

Furthermore, the majority of today’s legislation was written at session by backbenchers, allowing them the exciting opportunity to brainstorm, craft, and present a bill. “I couldn’t sleep because I was so excited to present my bill, or I was writing my speech… no one will ever know which” said Ana the member from Bruce-Grey-Owen-Sound after her bill on eco-burial passed without amendment.

Day 2 of Winter Session 98

By the second day of session, members got to know each other better, and friendships began to blossom. I had the opportunity to ask several backbenchers what they were most enjoying so far. Their answers, I’m sure, will surprise and delight. One member remarked that they enjoyed listening to the creative inaugural speeches of their colleagues. Another stated that sending and receiving notes in the house was a thrill. A final member remarked that seeing the bills in their final state after amendment was truly glorious.

First Day of the 98th Winter Session

Today was our first day of the 98th winter session. We had the honour of being joined in the house by Anne Thompson who was our first ever female Premier, although today she was graciously performing the role of clerk. This is notable this year in particular, as this year’s board of directors/executive is comprised solely of women for the first time in YPM’s 98 year history.

In our first question period, the Minister of Finance, Alexa, was bombarded with a multitude of well thought out questions regarding her bill, the Healthcare Expansion Act.

Later in the evening, the registrar general, Marissa, guided the backbenchers through the process of crafting a bill. Members are now hard at work on private members bills exploring a variety of topics. We are so excited to see what they have written!

Website Re-Design

Our website re-design was launched on December 15, 2019 to:

  • Make our home page more interactive,
  • Improve responsiveness on mobile devices, and
  • Improve navigation across our pages.

We’re always looking to make our website more user-friendly, so please contact us at any time with feedback!