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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 speaker@ypmanitoba.ca 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

Farewell Mr. Alcock, you will be missed.

Reg Alcock, Honourary President of YPM and former Liberal MP, tragically passed away yesterday morning after suffering a heart attack.

Reg Alcock was a dear friend and supporter of Youth Parliament of Manitoba. For the past two years Reg Alcock has served as YPM’s Honourary President. In those two years he contributed his expertise, knowledge and support in many ways. In 2010, Mr. Alcock was instrumental in planning our third annual Speaker’s Night dinner and this past year he acted as Master of Ceremonies for our fourth annual Speaker’s Night. As Honourary President, Mr. Alcock also took the time to address and encourage YPM’s membership, keenly observed our sittings on numerous occasions, and participated in our annual Winter Session Bear Pit.

Mr. Alcock was a great supporter of YPM’s mission to educate and engage young people in the democratic process. He appreciated the transformative nature of YPM, emphasizing this when he addressed the members of our 88th Winter Session:

“…for many of you attending, the Youth Parliament of Manitoba’s Winter Session will be something you never forget. For many of you, it may be a life changing experience—changing the way you view politics, the world, and our nation. I know that for at least one of you, your experience here will change the path that you will choose to take in your life and you will forever know that your passion developed here in the Legislative chamber…”

To see such a dedicated public servant pass away before his time is truly tragic.  However, his death reminds us that although our time on this earth is limited, in the end we must measure our lives by the change we affect, the lives we touch and people we inspire. Through his support of YPM, there is no doubt that Mr. Alcock touched the lives of many young Manitobans and for this we owe him an incredible debt of gratitude. Our sincerest condolences go out to his family. He will be missed.

A few words on the passing of Jack Layton

On August 22nd, 2011, Jack Layton, Canadian politician and leader Canada’s official opposition passed away of cancer. While not all Canadians may have agreed with his political ideas or aspirations, his contributions to the Canadian political landscape cannot be disputed. Jack Layton was widely respected as a man of energy, optimism and enthusiasm for the Canadian democratic process. In his final letter to Canadians, Jack Layton had a special message to young Canadians:

“All my life I have worked to make things better. Hope and optimism have defined my political career, and I continue to be hopeful and optimistic about Canada. Young people have been a great source of inspiration for me. I have met and talked with so many of you about your dreams, your frustrations, and your ideas for change. More and more, you are engaging in politics because you want to change things for the better. Many of you have placed your trust in our party. As my time in political life draws to a close I want to share with you my belief in your power to change this country and this world. There are great challenges before you, from the overwhelming nature of climate change to the unfairness of an economy that excludes so many from our collective wealth, and the changes necessary to build a more inclusive and generous Canada. I believe in you. Your energy, your vision, your passion for justice are exactly what this country needs today. You need to be at the heart of our economy, our political life, and our plans for the present and the future.”

That Mr. Layton took the time to address young Canadians in such a manner embodies his respect for and hope in the young people of Canada. As Mr. Layton mentions, many great challenges lay before us. It will be up to the youth of today to find solutions to the problems of tomorrow. It is our hope that Mr. Layton’s words inspire young Canadians to learn about and become involved in the Canadian democratic process. Our deepest condolences go out to Mr. Layton’s family and loved ones.

YPM to meet with Tim Uppal, Minister of State for Democratic Reform

On July 18th, members of the Youth Parliament of Manitoba executive will be meeting with Tim Uppal, Minister of State for Democratic Reform.  At this meeting we will have the chance to discuss a number of issues that Mr. Uppal is currently working on, including:

  • Fair representation in the House of Commons
  • Reform of Canada’s Senate
  • Initiatives to increase voter participation

Needless to say, we are extremely excited to be able to provide a youth perspective on these issues!  This is the kind of discussion that could lead to very good material for legislation this winter.  Is there anything you would like to see us discuss?

We are proud to launch our new and improved website

Thanks to the hard work and help of Paulo Fernandes of PieffeDESIGN, for many years Youth Parliament of Manitoba’s website has been a wonderful resource for parents, teachers, students, and members of the YPM community.  In the recent years, however, YPM’s website had begun to show its age.  We would like to begin by thanking Paulo for his past work on the YPM website.  His expertise has been and continues to be a wonderful resource for the organization.  With the advice and guidance of Paulo and other members of the YPM community, we have successfully transitioned our website to a format that will allow us to provide updates more easily and frequently.

Our hope in launching this new website was to make the most relevant information easy to find.  We hope you find this new website both easier to navigate and more informative.

Another goal for this website was to make it more interactive.  You will notice that along the top of the navigation bar we have links to our Twitter, Facebook and Flickr pages, our LinkedIn Alumni group, our Wikipedia page and the RSS feed for our blog.  We hope to keep our community in the loop through regular updates to this blog, so subscribe to our RSS feed if you use an RSS reader like Google Reader.  We’ll also be posting links to our blog posts on our Facebook and Twitter pages.  And please leave your comments in the section below!

If you have any ideas on how to improve our website to make it easier to navigate or find information please let us know, we would love to hear your feedback!

YPM Website Renewal

A major update to Youth Parliament of Manitoba’s website is long overdue.  Plans have been in the works for a few years but for a variety of reasons the major changes we wanted to implement had to be put on the shelf.

A few months ago, Youth Parliament of Manitoba launched a blog titled “The Youth Parliamentarian” at this address.  Using WordPress, we were able to easily implement a new, compelling, and interactive way of sharing content on the web for all to see.  With the experience creating the blog fresh in our memory we have decided that now is a perfect time to move forward with a major update to our website.

Over the next weeks and months, we will be transferring content over from our old website (currently at www.ypmanitoba.ca) to this website (blog.ypmanitoba.ca).  You should notice that a number of pages have already been added.  Once the content is completely transferred, we will archive our old website and migrate this website over to our main url (www.ypmanitoba.ca).  The blog will then simply be one of the many page on our website, and a perfect way of staying up-to-date on all YPM-related news.

We look forward to feedback from the YPM community once this transition is completed.

What can we do in 90 hours?

YPM will celebrating its 90th session this coming December.  As we celebrate the past we must look to the future to ensure that YPM is able to continue its mission for another 90 years.  By building a reliable source of income for future generations, the endowment fund will help YPM survive and thrive for generations to come.

Between now and midnight on April 21st any donations made online to our Endowment Fund will be matched by the Winnipeg Foundation.  The matching funds are donated to YPM’s operating budget, so there is no better time to support YPM, for today and for the future.

Please click on the banner above to donate.  Any amount is appreciated, from $2 to $20 to $200.  Thank you.

Sincerely,
Darren Haber
Premier of the 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.

Speaker’s Night, a chance to reconnect

The goal of Speaker’s Night is to commemorate the history and stories of YPM as well as celebrate the achievements of our alumni.  Most importantly, the goal of the evening is to bring past members together so that they can reconnect.  YPM is so remarkable in large part because of the friendships that are forged between the remarkable young people who become actively involved in the organization.

With the 4th annual Speaker’s Night only one short week away, I want to urge every single member of the broad YPM community to take advantage of this incredible opportunity to reconnect with old friends while celebrating the organization that has brought us all together.  Call up some old YPM friends and ask them if they’re going to Speaker’s Night, it’s the perfect opportunity to reconnect!

4th Annual Speaker’s Night set for March 10th

Join us March 10, 2011 for our 4th Annual Speaker’s Night; Youth Parliament of Manitoba’s premiere fundraising gala and community event of the year.

Who: Members, alumni, friends and supporters of Youth Parliament of Manitoba
What: 4th Annual Speaker’s Night
When: Thursday, March 10, 2011 (Cocktails at 6:30 p.m. and Dinner at 7:30 p.m.)
Where: Radisson Hotel Winnipeg Downtown
Why: To help further the educational development and ongoing engagement of tomorrow’s leaders. A keynote address will be delivered by our Alumni Achievement Award honouree for 2010, Mr. Darren Praznik (55th to 62nd).