Supplied by the Conseil scolaire catholique du Nouvel-Ontario…  From March 3 to 7, four Conseil scolaire catholique du Nouvel-Ontario (CSCNO) students will be among the 80 grade 11 and 12 Franco-Ontarian students to take part in the 9th Provincial Francophone Youth Parliament. This activity will enable students to become familiar with Ontario’s parliamentary system and the workings of the Ontario Legislative Assembly. Students will also have the opportunity to meet with Members and Ministers of Provincial Parliament (MPP).   The following students have been selected to participate in this learning activity: Olivier Bélanger, Chad Savard and Lionel Lemieux, Collège Notre-Dame (Sudbury); as well as Nathan Salituri, École secondaire Notre-Dame-du-Sault (Sault Ste-Marie).

The Provincial Francophone Youth Parliament’s principal objective is to engage students to gain an interest and participate in Ontario politics and the provincial government. A key element in the Youth Parliament event will be a mock debate during which students will serve as MPPs, reporters or representatives of a non-governmental organization (NGO). This simulation will enable students to realize that politics do not only occur within the Legislature itself, but can be also be addressed by the media and NGOs, both of whom can exert influence on provincial politicians.

The following three draft bills will also be debated during the mock parliament: the banning of drive-throughs, Ontario – a bilingual province and the abolition of minimum wage. “My participation has helped me gain a higher level of confidence in myself. With an election taking place next year, I will be able to vote without being dependent on other people’s opinions. I will be able to gain information and make my own decisions,” stated a former participant from École secondaire catholique l’Horizon (Val Caron). The Provincial Francophone Youth Parliament is organized jointly by the Office of Mr. Jean-Marc Lalonde, MPP for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, the Ontario Ministry of Education and the Fédération de la jeunesse franco-ontarienne.   The Conseil scolaire catholique du Nouvel-Ontario offers a French Catholic Educational Program that is widely recognized for its excellence. The CSCNO provides a quality academic program that runs from early childhood to adult education, with more than 7,000 students in 27 elementary and 10 secondary schools.