Model Par­lia­ment

Stanstead Journal - - SPORTS -

ed Mr. Dusseault who was study­ing Ap­plied Pol­i­tics at the Univer­sity of Sher­brooke when he was elected.

A for­mer Galt stu­dent who is now the Head Coach of the Gaiters foot­ball team at Bishop’s Univer­sity and is ac­tive in mu­nic­i­pal pol­i­tics, Kevin Mackey spoke next to the stu­dents. “Cher­ish your mo­ments at high school; it’s the great­est time of your life!” he said. Con­sid­er­ing how our own fed­eral gov­ern­ment has been tak­ing ad­van­tage of their ma­jor­ity by push­ing bills through par­lia­ment with lit­tle de­bate, it was im­por­tant for the stu­dents to hear Mr. Mackey, who is an As­cot Corner coun­cilor, com­ment: “When you are elected you are rep­re­sent­ing the peo­ple and you must rep­re­sent them well. The dif­fi­cult thing is re­mov­ing your­self; it’s not an ego thing. It can be frus­trat­ing in pol­i­tics but don’t give up, bring your ideas for­ward and lead by ex­am­ple.”

Galt teacher Karolyn Kirby was next to speak about her ex­pe­ri­ence as a page at the House of Com­mons and as a guide in the Veteran’s Af­fairs guide pro­gram at Vimy Ridge. Re­peat­ing a few very fa­mous quotes of for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Pierre Trudeau (“Fud­dle dud­dle”) and his son Justin, she said en­thu­si­as­ti­cally: “As a page you get to see those things when they hap­pen!” Ms. Kirby also spoke about the im­por­tance of vol­un­teer­ing in one’s com- mu­nity. “Be­ing in­volved in your com­mu­nity is very good on a CV. I have a boxful of in­for­ma­tion on pro­grams that stu­dents can get in­volved in,” she added.

Dr. John Ber­tram, once again, played the role of Gov­er­nor Gen­eral for Model Par­lia­ment. “Dr. Ber­tram taught English for 35 years at Galt, then got two Arts de­grees, one Law de­gree and Is now pur­su­ing a de­gree in his­tory. I re­gard him as a pro­fes­sional stu­dent!” said Mr. Quinn in his in­tro­duc­tion. Dr. Ber­tram than gave the Speech from the Throne, which is writ­ten by the Prime Min­is­ter’s Of­fice and out­lines the pri­or­i­ties of the gov­ern­ment. Fol­low­ing the Throne Speech he said: “Our Cana­dian par­lia­ment is the prod­uct of a long and in­ter­est­ing his­tory. In a lit­tle place called Eng­land the par­lia­ment func­tioned in French for hun­dreds of years. It gives me great pride to be part of Model Par­lia­ment. This is as im­por­tant as any other par­lia­ment. The words you say here in­di­cate how our coun­try will func­tion in years ahead; It in­spires tremen­dous con­fi­dence in me for our fu­ture.” Stu­dent Ben Wilms, act­ing as the Prime Min­is­ter, then thanked him.

Elo­quent and in­for­ma­tive open­ing ad­dresses were given, in both English and French, by stu­dent Den­zel Suther­landWil­son, as the head of the NDP, the Of­fi­cial Op­po­si­tion, and Joaquim Fran­coli as the head of the Lib­eral Party. Af­ter re­ceiv­ing a pos­i­tive com­ment about the Model Par­lia­ment pro­gram, Mr. Quinn com­mented: “We cer­tainly be­lieve that this method­ol­ogy of con­struc­tivism is not only rel­e­vant but no bet­ter way to learn.”

Over forty years old and go­ing strong, Galt’s Model Par­lia­ment could truly be a ‘model’ for the noisy one in Ot­tawa. Echo­ing Dr. Ber­tram’s sen­ti­ments, it in­spires hope for the fu­ture.

Photo Vic­to­ria Vanier

Den­zel Suther­land-wil­son (stand­ing) de­liv­ered an ad­dress as the head of the Of­fi­cial Op­po­si­tion.

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