A local Big Brothers Big Sisters National Youth Advisory Council member recently spent two days in Ottawa learning a bit about how the heart of Canada’s political machine beats. On Oct. 29-30, Portage la Prairie Brianna Boyse was one of 26 youth leaders from Big Brothers Big Sisters and Boys and Girls Clubs who connected with Members of Parliament and worked together to advocate around two important issues: youth employment and mental health.
As part of Youth In Office, (https://bigbrothersbigsisters.ca/event/youth-in-office-2018/) youth representatives formed two mock parliamentary committees. With 12 members and a chair, each committee studied their own issue—the first focused on youth employment, the second on youth mental health. Participants also attended a media training session, learned from the experiences of young Indigenous activists and the 2018-19 Parliamentary Interns, and toured the House of Commons.
“Over the past few days, I had the incredible opportunity to participate in the “Youth In Office” event with my Big Brothers Big Sisters National Youth Advisory Council,” said Boyse. “Highlights include hearing from MP and environmental activist Peter Schiefke, and preparing with help from parliamentary interns for a mock committee in the Senate. This means we were able to directly ask senators and ministers pressing questions related to youth unemployment and mental health in our country. It was such an honour to be given such an in-depth look at parliamentary proceedings, coming all the way from Portage La Prairie!” said Boyse.