By Amarit Brar
Through Oct. 15 to 18, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Ottawa with the Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country, Mr. Stephen Fuhr. I was given this opportunity as a member of his non-partisan Constituency Youth Council in Kelowna-Lake Country.
Over the busy few days in Ottawa, I had the chance to witness democracy in action: I toured the Parliament buildings and learned more about our country’s history; I attended Question Period where I watched MPs passionately debate policy and issues affecting Canadians; and finally, I was able to attend a meeting of the Standing Committee on National Defence which Mr. Fuhr chairs.
I also had the opportunity to meet with few different MPs such as Sherry Romanado who is the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veteran Affairs and Anita Vandenbeld who is the Chair for the Parliamentary Women’s Caucus. It was really exciting talking to them as Person’s Day was approaching on Oct. 19.
Both MPs shared their experiences about how they got involved in politics and we discussed how to increase the participation of young women in the political process, who often don’t participate due to a lack of confidence in themselves. It was very inspiring to hear from some of the most powerful women in Parliament. In fact, as soon as I told them that I wanted to run for office in the future, they encouraged me to do so.
This experience was an eye-opening experience for me and made me appreciate the job that Mr. Fuhr and other politicians have. If you ever get a chance to travel to Ottawa, I strongly encourage you reach out to your local Member of Parliament to experience Canadian democracy first hand and in action.