Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer:
Honourable senators, in January, I had the privilege of participating in the British Columbia francophone youth parliament at the provincial Legislative Assembly in Victoria.
This annual event brought together 115 young francophones and francophiles from all over British Columbia.
Its purpose is to help young people build their leadership skills and their knowledge of provincial and federal political systems. The event is also intended to increase their community involvement through citizen participation.
The enthusiasm of these young people and their interest in political and social issues showed me just how keen, intelligent and involved our youth are.
That’s why I want to applaud this initiative, which enables the francophone generation to preserve and promote its connection to its culture and language in an anglophone majority province. This type of event gives our future leaders an opportunity to meet, to discuss issues that matter to them and to get involved in our society.
We also discussed the important role of youth and their engagement in our society, and, in particular, how important the idea of making Canada a bilingual country is to them.
Therefore, I would like to thank and congratulate the organizing committee and also the volunteers for their incredible work. I would especially like to acknowledge the contributions of Rémi Marien, Executive Director of the Conseil jeunesse francophone de la Colombie-Britannique, his colleague, Sophie Brassard, Chair of the Board of Directors, and their team.
I would also like to congratulate the newly elected Speaker, Moe Younesi, who is responsible for organizing the next edition of the youth parliament.
In closing, I would like to remind senators of the importance we must place on the opinions and different ideas of our young people. It is our duty, as senators, to listen to them, to encourage them to get involved, and to remind them that no matter their gender, sexual orientation religion, or age, they have a role to play in our society, and not just today’s society, but also the society of the future.