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.
Today in session, we voted on four pieces of legislation: The Welfare and Wage Reform Act, Sexual Education Act, Police Reform and Social accountability, and Justice Employment Reform Act.
We would like to commend all members who participated in debate. After careful deliberation, our government voted to enforce all four! Congratulations to our minister of Labour, Revenue, Registrar General as well as minister of Human Resources for the informed and tireless work on their bills.
Lunch today was provided by the NDP, who also thoughtfully answered several topical questions from our members. Thank you for your time Premier Greg Selinger, and other caucus representatives.
Whips performed amazing musical renditions of each bill. Everyone appreciated the harmonious notes of support!
They took questions from our members regarding the legislation we’re currently debating, as well as questions about their experiences as former MLAs. It was a fun, engaging, (mostly!) nonpartisan discussion. This event was followed by a much-enjoyed reception in which we got to chat with the bears further.
Today in the house we proceeded with the second readings of the Justice Employment Reform, Healthy Society, Sexual Education and the Police Reform Acts. Debate throughout sittings brought forward extreme contention and witty rhetoric.
Highlights include: whether or not to expand the reach of the sexual education act to high schools or varying public; the issues of state-sponsored lawyers working against the state; debate on the age of 13 being an appropriate age for the responsibility of choice concerning medical care; and the fostering of the blue wall through legislation.
However, to end off our day we were graced by the private members bill aka the Ol’ Switcheroo Act. This extremely controversial and suprisingly hilarious piece of legislation included the ever so clever acronym ‘DOOM’. (Special thanks to backbenchers who stayed up all night)!
Tomorrow, we look forward to our annual Bear Pit with a plethora of riveting questions and debate!
The Youth Parliament of Manitoba has been held for the past 94 years. This year, we have implemented an exciting new addition to our usual opening ceremonies. Chief White Spotted Horse of the Anishinaabe First Nation led us in a smudging and pipe ceremony to recognize the Treaty 1 territory on which the Legislative Building was built. It was a very powerful and educational experience, and we look forward to continuing this new tradition into the future.
October 9th, 10pm at MAKE coffee + stuff on Corydon, YPM & Friends hosted our first ever coffee house fundraiser. First note of the night was played by our (Min. of Labour) Mitch Van Ineveld who shared with us some of his favorite songs on guitar. He was soon joined with harmony by the lovely Emma, a friend.
The next act was a rhythmically complicated jazz saxophone duet by Daniel Denton (Min. of Rural Development) and Nolan Smith (Min. of Publications). The groove was definitely in the air. Sitting still was not an option, the runs alone… just fantastic! Following that, was The Hard Maybes who made their world debut! Made up of multiple cabinet members, the coffee house came alive with their musical renditions.
Everyone who performed did a wonderful job showing how diverse and talented the YP and friends community is. But hands down, our final act of the night, Holly and the Muse with our own Senator Beverly on Ukelele, stole the show. Their song was a hit and if you missed it, it can be heard in the hums of all audience members who were in the crowd. Hopefully next time you will join us!
AYO Politix*and Youth Parliament came together for a thought provoking brainstorm this past Saturday. Michael Champagne guided the brainstorm with a focus on youth engagement in politics. Although, many like to focus on the issues surrounded around our government system and youth apathy; this discussion longed to take the more practical view.
Solutions was the path we wanted to discover, while avoiding the rocky road that is shifting blame. Just stating political “pot holes” in Winnipeg, Manitoba, or our Country is redundant and too easy of a route. The journey took us all to a place of reflection; we were able to discuss how to become brand ambassadors for politics. This includes encouraging others to take action while being aware!
Youth Parliament and AYO are continuing this wonderful partnership. We will be attending Meet Me at the Bell Tower this Friday, October 9. The discussion will be on mental health and awareness; come and be a part of this positive movement.
*Aboriginal Youth Opportunities (AYO) Politix happens every saturday at Neechi Commons and is a forum for all youth and voices to come discuss politics from many perspectives.
The Youth Parliament of Manitoba Cabinet just concluded our annual summer retreat. The weather was wonderful, the food was fantastic (thanks to our Minister of Labour Mitchell van Ineveld) and the mosquitoes mostly stayed away.
Along with team building activities, recruitment strategy modules and legislation presentations, we also found lots of time to just have fun, make new friendships and strengthen old ones. This weekend showed what a great and cohesive group we have in Cabinet this year. We are very excited to continue to grow as a group and to begin planning for the 94th session of the Youth Parliament of Manitoba.