Teens meet for annual youth parliament

Delegates to assemble at the legislature from across the province

More than 90 youth will arrive in Victoria from across the province to spend the week between Christmas and New Year’s attending the B.C. Youth Parliament.

“We had a large number of applications this year. We had a substantial waiting list by our standards,” said Dora Turje, BCYP registrar.

“It’s good to know that a lot of people heard about it and were interested in joining.”

The Youth Parliament is in its 83rd year and is open to youth between the ages of 16 and 21. It is a non-partisan, non-denominational service organization that creates service projects to help improve the lives of young people.

It also organizes regional youth parliaments for participants aged 14 to 18, and held in various regions of B.C. The sessions give more youth  experience in and education about debating and parliamentary procedures.

One of the events is the British Columbia Youth Parliament.

The young people participating represent all areas of the province. “It doesn’t match directly with the electoral districts in the legislature, but it’s proportional,” said Turje.

Fifteen youth from Vancouver Island will participate in the session, which began in 1924 as the ‘older boys parliament.’

Every year youth meet in the legislative buildings in Victoria and debate a variety of legislation that outlines projects that BCYP will then run throughout the year.

In addition, private member’s resolutions are introduced, giving members the ability to debate any issue they choose, while still participating in a practical lesson on the parliamentary process.

llavin@vicnews.com

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