A Student Perspective on the 2014 SBC

March 4th, 2014 by CIVIX

My name is Laurier Boucher and I am a grade 10 student at Sacred Heart High School in Stittsville, Ontario. I am also a Royal Canadian Air Cadet and what is known informally as a ‘base brat,’ which means I come from a military family that moves a lot. I am not much more than your average teen.

Unlike most teens, however, I received the magnificent opportunity to take part in the Student Budget Consultation (SBC). The SBC is a program created by CIVIX to stimulate the involvement of Canadian youth from all ends of this amazing country. It deals with Canada’s revenue, spending, and saving; in other words Canada’s ‘piggy bank.’

Students discuss the SBC results with Andrew Saxton

I have to admit, I was not particularly thrilled with the idea of taking, what seemed to be at the time, a random survey that would end up in an annual write-up. In reality, the SBC gives students a chance to have their voice heard. In the end, I truly did enjoy the program in every aspect possible, and it helps that I had the astounding opportunity to fully appreciate what it had to offer first hand by meeting with the CIVIX team. I believe it to be a great learning objective, allowing one to be grateful for what we have as a country, and to be given the chance to share our opinions.

Another amazing opportunity offered by the SBC was the rendezvous with Andrew Saxton, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance. Meeting Mr. Saxton was a privilege of which I am enormously grateful for. Even if I may have felt incongruous at first, the atmosphere in the room soon filled with constructive and coalescing conversation. The whole process was much less nerve racking than anticipated! It is definitely something the SBC should continue to do for the benefit of all our advancing adolescent population.

The SBC also taught me a great deal of what the majority of teens from around the country thought about our budget. Many results are similar to what is included in this year’s budget, but there were some differences. Some exceptions, however, were related to things such as the environment, where teenagers took a more precarious approach. A large portion of the poll believed in equal opportunities, no matter the age, on government programs (such as recreational activity support). Furthermore, students are strongly convinced that any surplus made by 2015 should be primarily saved for the benefit of paying off Canada’s debt that will one day become our burden.

Capture

I do hope that the opinion of the students whom took part of the survey is taken into substantial consideration. Although we do count for a small segment, we are Canada’s youth. As youth we are Canada’s future and that should be the reason they take our votes seriously. Yet, it is understandable that the economy will take time to be as renowned as it once was.

The SBC has enormously changed my viewpoint of Canada and its people, and it would be my pleasure to aid it with its endeavours in positively changing our country for the greater good of our world. If the SBC would have a motto, it would have to be “Kaizen”, which when translated from Japanese means “continuous improvement.”

What I have learned from this program reminds me of Dr. Seuss’s famous quote, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” The SBC is indeed a valuable program that should be available, and grow in importance to all Canadian youth.

Thank you for the amazing experience!

Visit the Student Budget Consultation website for more information, teacher resources and complete survey results.

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