Justice, Sex Ed, Health, and Police Reform all leading up to DOOM?

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!

Session kicks off with Smudging and Pipe Ceremony

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.

Teacher Appreciation Award 2015

Youth Parliament of Manitoba loves the teachers in this province. Since 2007, the executive board of the Youth Parliament of Manitoba has chosen a Manitoban educator as a recipient of our Teacher Appreciation Award. This award is meant to recognize the support of a teacher who has gone above and beyond to promote our organization to their students and to encourage them to learn about Canadian democracy and the parliamentary process.

This year, YPM is pleased to announce Mr. Mark Walterson from Lord Selkirk Regional Comprehensive School as the recipient of this award. Mark Walterson has been teaching at Lord Selkirk Regional Comprehensive School (LSRCSS) since 2004. Mark is a Social Studies teacher by trade with Geography as his major and History as his minor. Mark recieved his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education degrees from the University of Manitoba. He has been the teacher supervisor for the LSRCSS Youth Parliament since 2009. His goal since taking over the LSRCSS Youth Parliament has been to foster the students’ desire to be aware of current issues facing government in a political environment. This has been accomplished through weekly meetings culminating with the LSRCSS Youth Parliament session. “The students come well prepared as many of the members have participated in the strong Junior Parliament program in Junior High”, Mark said. He also believes that the Youth Parliament group has been fortunate to get funding from the highschool’s student council to help with the cost of registration for members to participate in the Youth Parliament of Manitoba’s session. Mark hopes that there will be a continued connection between the LSRCSS Youth Parliament and the Youth Parliament of Manitoba.

Walterson 2015-11

94th Session Honourary President and Lieutenant-Governor

YPM is proud to announce Patricia Chaychuk, clerk of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, as our Honourary President. This will be Ms. Chaychuk’s third consecutive year serving as our Honourary President.

Patricia was appointed as Clerk of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly on January 10, 2000, and is the first woman to hold this position.

She previously served as Clerk Assistant/Clerk of Committees with the Manitoba Legislature from 1989 to January 2000.  In addition, she worked at the Table Research Branch of the Canadian House of Commons from September 1992 to August 1993 on a training secondment.  She is also a former Manitoba Legislative Intern as well as a former Premier and Speaker of the Manitoba Youth Parliament.

Patricia is a past President of the Association of Clerks-at-the-Table in Canada and is also a past President for the Canadian Study o
f Parliament Group.  She currently serves as Chair of the Editorial Board of The Canadian Parliamentary Review, and is a member of the Society of Clerks-at-the-Table in Commonwealth Parliaments.  She is also the Honorary President for the Youth Parliament of Manitoba and volunteers with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.  She is an avid Winnipeg Jets fan.

Her education includes a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Economics from the University of Winnipeg, and MPA and MBA degrees, both from the University of Manitoba.

patricia-chaychuk

We are equally pleased to announce Clif Evans, former Member of the Legislative Assembly, as our Lieutenant-Governor.

Clifford Brian Evans was born on May 16th, 1948.  Raised in Transcona, he attended elementary school in Transcona and high school at Murdoch MacKay Collegiate. After attending the University of North Dakota and the University of Manitoba, he worked in oil and chemical refineries before moving to the hotel industry, purchasing his first hotel in Killarney in 1983.

His involvement in politics began when he was approached to run as the mayor of Riverton, where he had purchased a hotel in 1987. He won the municipal election in October, 1989. In 1990, by the urging of the outgoing MLA, he ran with the New Democratic Party in the Interlake. He won two consecutive elections in 1990 and 1995.

He stepped down from politics due to health reasons, and worked with the provincial government from 2001 to 2012. During this time, he worked with several other former MLAs to found the Association of Former Members of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly, serving as Secretary from 2001 to the present. He also acts as chair of the Youth Parliament Committee, working with YPM since 2004 and helping to organize the annual Bear Pit Session and Reception since 2005.

Clif has been married to Linda for 43 years. They have two children, Tyler and Kelsey, who live in Winnipeg.

Clif Evans

YPM Attends Rainbow Resource Center’s Peer Project for Youth

On October 7th, members of YPM’s cabinet were invited to visit the Rainbow Resource Center to facilitate a debate with the Peer Project for Youth. The bill up for discussion was The Gender Equality Act, written by Alumnus (and former Provincial Secretary) Jonathan Northam.

After a round of introductions, Kamal (our Premier), Alanna (Registrar General), Michael (Minister of Alumni Affairs) and Taylor (PS to Finance) broke down the bill clause by clause so that everyone had an opportunity to learn about what the bill wanted to change. After some initial questions, everyone at PPY jumped in and started sharing opinions on what needed to be changed, what made sense, and what seemed to be counterintuitive to the bill’s intent.

Debate went on for over an hour and a half, with discussion on how the changes proposed would impact Canadian businesses, culture, and individual quality of life. Personal stories were shared to explain how diverse the trans* experience is, and to highlight the shortcomings of The Gender Equality Act. The youth at the PPY approached the bill with a sharp, critical focus – and were able to have their voice heard.

Our cabinet had a great time facilitating this debate and hope to see some familiar faces at this year’s Winter Session!

Peer Project for Youth meets Monday and Wednesdays from 7PM-9PM. PPY is a program that offers Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Two-Spirit, Intersex, Queer, Questioning, and Ally (LGBTTIQQA*) youth (13-21 years old) a safer, fun place to learn new skills, create projects and celebrate identities. Check out their Facebook Group for more information.

YPM and Friends Coffee House

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!

Our wonderful audience
Our wonderful audience
The Hard Maybes tuning!
The Hard Maybes tuning!
Our Saxophone dynamic duo
Our Saxophone dynamic duo

 

Youth Parliament attends AYO Politix Brainstorm

AYO and YP!

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.

Summer Fun At Annual Cabinet Retreat

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.

retreat3
No one is quite sure what is happening in this photo but it looks like fun.
retreat2
Our Cabinet and Executive for the 94th Winter Session!
retreat1
It’s safe to say we had a very fun retreat.

YPM 2015 AGM

On Sunday, March 22nd, members of Youth Parliament gathered for our 2015 Annual General Meeting. The meeting was a great success, and included several addresses from the organization’s executives, as well as a productive discussion coming from the membership. Speaker Brent Hardy summed up the last year for the organization, followed by current Premier Kamal Dhillon, who spoke about the goals and direction of YPM for the following year. They stressed the importance that partnerships will play in the future of the organization, particularly our new found partnerships with Aboriginal Youth Opportunities and Parliament Jeunesse Franco-Manitobain. Inclusivity and diversity are at the heart of YPM’s efforts, as the organization tries to reach out to a wider, more diverse group of Manitoba youth than ever before.

The membership also took a giant leap forward in voting to amend all of our governing documents to be completely gender neutral. As part of our effort towards including all potential members of YPM, the membership found it necessary to make official the organization’s openness to all gender identifications. Our bylaws and governing documents are now equipped with entirely gender neutral language, as well as a gender neutral dress code for our annual Winter Session.

After the meeting, members went to Kawaii Crepe for a (delicious) post-AGM event. The high attendance and enthusiasm expressed by the membership is a promising sign that YPM94 will continue to build on the successes of the past few years of the organization.

Join us on May 7th for Speaker’s Night, a gala dinner hosted by Youth Parliament of Manitoba. The event will take place at the Winnipeg Winter Club, and we are honoured to have Wab Kinew as this year’s keynote speaker. For more details, visit speakersnight.ypmanitoba.ca

The 5th Edition of The Youth Parliamentarian

The 5th Edition of The Youth Parliamentarian, YPM’s community newsletter published by the Youth Parliament of Manitoba Alumni Association (YPMAA) is now available! It can be viewed here.

This issue of the newsletter includes:
– Invitation to 8th Annual Speaker’s Night
– A Glance at YPM93
– YPM Alumni Association Update
– Alumni Meet-ups
– Meet the New YPM Senate Inductees
– Alumni Updates – Where are they now?
– YPM Announces Partnership with AYO!

To subscribe to the newsletter, please contact info@ypmanitoba.ca . If you would like to contribute to the making of the newsletter or get involved in other ways with the YPMAA, please contact Amy Dhillon (amy.dhillon@gmail.com) or Michael Urban (urban.michael@gmail.com).