Author: Speaker

An update from the 91st Winter Session

This 91st Session of YPM is now well under way. Debate has been lively as ever, with seldom a dull moment during deliberations on the six acts presented thus far. As we reach the halfway point of Winter Session, we now pause our debate as we do every year, to honour our distinguished alumni and former MLAs at YPMs annual Bear Pit and reception.

The Bear Pit is an opportunity for current members of the session to ask former MLAs – the ‘bears’ – questions on any topic that interests them. This year’s Bears are Ms. Diane McGifford, Mr. Rey Pagtakhan, and Mr. Harold Taylor.  In addition it is an opportunity to recognize truly remarkable members who have worked tirelessly for the organization. This year, Alyssa Morrison and Darcy Vermuelen will be appointed to YPMs Senate in recognition for their work on behalf of the organization. We congratulate them on this achievement, and know that our “Momma Bear” and 90th Speaker will be wonderful additions to the Senate.

Alumni and friends are invited to join us. Proceedings begin at 6:30pm with a reception to be held directly following the Bear Pit in the rotunda. We at the 91st Session are very excited to see and meet all of you.

A Speaker’s Night true to its name!

This year’s Speaker’s Night, which took place on June 7th, 2012 was one to remember.  True to its name, five “Speakers” were in attendance for YPM’s 5th Annual Speaker’s Night: Former House of Commons Deputy Speaker Bill Blaikie, Former House of Commons Speaker Peter Milliken, Speaker of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly Daryl Reid, YPM Deputy Speaker Brent Hardy and YPM Speaker Darren Haber.

The night featured a keynote address by former Canadian MP and Manitoba MLA Bill Blaikie, also a YPM alumnus and our current Honourary President. YPM also had the tremendous honour of hearing from Former House of Commons Speaker Peter Milliken, the longest-serving speaker in Canadian House of Commons history. We were also honoured to have numerous Manitoba MLAs in attendance to support the organization and its mission.

The Youth Parliament of Manitoba Executive would like to thank the alumni, members, parents, MLAs, dignitaries, friends and supporters who came out and made Speaker’s Night a success. We would also like to thank YPM alumni Michael Urban (79th to 85th), Dana Gregoire (79th to 86th), Sachin Kumar (81st to 83rd) José Castillo Pilcol (84th), Jennifer Pawluk (82nd to 89th) and others who donated to the evening despite not being able to attend.

A full collection of photos from the event can be found on our Speaker’s Night page, and on our Facebook page.

How do you Celebrate Nine Decades?… together!

As part of the planning for this year’s milestone session, the YPM Executive and Cabinet would like to host a commemorative event on December 28th as part of the annual Bear Pit. However, as we haven’t exactly been the only ones running the show for the last 90 years, we feel it’s just not our event to plan. So, we would love your input in the process!

We have discussed a number of ideas, but are now looking for a way to really make this evening special. Do you have any ideas? Maybe even want to help out with planning the event? Drop me a line at and let’s talk about it!!! Our plan is to blend a commemorative event with the annual Bear Pit by extending the reception afterwards, and transforming the rotunda into a “Walk through YPM’s Past”. The organization has such wonderful and extensive archival material (at the Manitoba Archives), it’s such a shame it’s hasn’t been viewed more.

So there you have it – a sneak peek at what awaits you at this year’s session of Youth Parliament of Manitoba. Take this chance to really reconnect with the organization, and to mark a very important time in the history of our historic institution. We love hearing from alumni and getting your feedback, so send it my way! (Seriously, love your feedback!)

All the best,

Darcy Vermeulen
Speaker (Past-Chairperson)
90th Youth Parliament of Manitoba

Speaker’s Night – A Grand New Tradition

With the 4th Annual Speaker’s Night Fundraising Dinner now wrapped up, we turn back to reflect on another wonderful event. Bringing alumni, current members and the Manitoba political and business community together, Speaker’s Night has provided YPM with the funds it needs to operate on a yearly basis, as well as take on exciting new opportunties like developing the organizations Spring Session in Brandon, MB as well as successfully hosting the Western Canada Youth Parliament.

We’d like to thank all those who came out to attend the event! Darren Praznik (55th to 62nd) delivered an insighful keynote address, touching on the disengagement currently plaguing this country. It was of course not all serious business, as friends across sessional years connected and mingled in the beautiful windowed room of the Radisson Hotel downtown. With the organization’s Honourary President Reg Alcock emceeing the event, it didn’t take long for laughter to erupt across the room. If you weren’t able to attend, you truly missed a great event. Please check out our photo gallery to see some highlights from the night.

As Speaker this year and soon to be alumni, I have to confess how wondeful it is to see such loyal and supportive alumni. While we all may go our separate ways once leaving the organization, this is where we first were inspired to stand up to speak. This is where our shaky hands slowly steadied as we grew more confident in telling others just exactly how we thought. YPM embarks on its 90th Winter Session this December. This longevity would not be possible without continued support and financial contributions of great individuals like our alumni.

A look back on the 89th Parliament

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.

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Welcome to The Youth Parliamentarian

We decided to create The Youth Parliamentarian to bring the extended Youth Parliament of Manitoba (YPM) community together in a forum that encourages ongoing engagement and interaction. By using social media, we can extend our network across cyberspace; allowing for more regular updates about the goings-on of YPM.

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