One Week in Ottawa

Parlement Ottawa

Forum For Young Canadians, a Lifetime of Memories.

Brendan Metrakos

Sitting in the House of Commons, having breakfast with senators, indulging in the poutine bar above the Ottawa skyline with current and former Members of Parliament, the Forum for Young Canadians brought together around 120 students from across Canada to participate and learn about our systems of government, and share our perspectives on everyday matters at the federal level.
Traveling with three other students from various programs, John Abbott College was represented by Sophia Ye, Pamela Ware, Kennedy McKee-Braide, and myself. Not necessarily acquainted with one another before the Forum, we set out to learn about community involvement and listen to distinguished speakers during our spring break. The result: developed friendships with both each other and students from all over Canada, from the Nunavut and Yukon territories, to Sherbrooke, Quebec. The Forum tested our knowledge and leadership skills in various simulations, including a mock-election that lasted the duration of the week, which produced fun “rivalries” between different mock-political parties.

Whilst traveling to Parliament in the early (and very cold) mornings became the norm, witnessing Question Period, however, was a highlight among many participants. Seeing first hand the political powerhouses of Justin Trudeau, Rona Ambrose and Tom Mulcair go head-to-head in debate was witnessing history. With the simulations, social events and interesting speakers, the conclusion of the week was bittersweet. I personally was fortunate to walk away with a deeper interest in politics, and amazing new friends, but very sad the experience had come to an end.

The Forum for Young Canadians is now a memory that I will hold dear for the rest of my life. Forum is not limited to those who only have an interest in politics, there were many students of different backgrounds and interests who earnestly participated, even a slight interest should motivate anyone applying next fall!

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