Olivia on the Hill: Week One
CIVIX team member Olivia Dorey is meeting with Members of Parliament to learn about the presence of politicians in schools and how we can build and improve our programs.
Here’s a recap of Olivia’s first three meetings:
Scott Andrews is the Liberal MP for Avalon in Newfoundland and Labrador and has represented the riding federally since 2008. He has been working for his region in various levels of government for 12 years and is very involved in his communities despite the geographic complications he faces as an MP in a rural riding. When I asked him about how he navigated around the schools within his riding, he and his assistant hopped up and pointed each one out to me on the map.
There are roughly 30 schools in Avalon, and he has made a habit of dropping in on them when he is in the area. He engages elementary students by compiling their art in a calendar and distributing it as housewarming gift to his constituents each year. He chuckled and shook his head when he realized that the artists for the first calendars were now in high school, muttering that he was getting old. Mr. Andrews makes a point of visiting career development classes and attending Remembrance Day ceremonies when possible.
Scott Andrews took part in Rep Day this September at Baccalieu Collegiate. He also won his seat in the 2011 federal Student Vote. You can visit Scott Andrews’ website and Member of Parliament Profile.
Manon Perreault is the NDP MP for Montcalm, Québec and has represented the riding since 2011. Perreault is a long-term resident of the region, where she lives with her husband, Jean-Pierre. She was tasked with the critic portfolio of persons with disabilities, another cause she holds very dear, as she herself has restricted mobility. Mme Perrault believes the role of an MP is to engage young people in conversation with her, and participate in political dialogue at large.
When her students visit Parliament, they learn all about the building, people and procedures within, and learn more specifically the role of an MP when they visit her constituency office. She is always ready to answer the questions of her young constituents, and does so with the warm smile and friendliness that is her trademark. Mme Perreault makes a point to attend ceremonial events for Scouts and Cadets, and often schedules individual visits with students with disabilities through the social work network, with whom she works closely.
Mike Lake is the Conservative MP for Edmonton-Mill Woods-Beaumont and has represented the riding since 2006. Before venturing into the political sphere, he held various senior positions with the Edmonton Oilers hockey team. His children are Jayden and Jenae, and the whole family is very active in the autism community at the local, national, and international level. Because he commits so much time to that cause, his time in his riding is particularly valuable. Mr. Lake makes time to meet the students in his riding because he views it as is critical to his role as an MP, one he finds beneficial not only to students, but enriching and valuable for himself.
Going into meetings with students, he assumes that the students will be smarter than he expects them to be, and that they want to ask questions. He uses the diversity in his riding to remind students to consider what it means to be a citizen of Canada, and why people from all over the world choose to move here. Mr. Lake hopes that students leave encounters with him seeing themselves reflected in his message of political empowerment and engagement.
Stay tuned for more of Olivia’s meetings on Parliament Hill!
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One Response to “Olivia on the Hill: Week One”
Olivia on the Hill: Part Two | CIVIX Says:
January 7th, 2014 at 9:24 am
[…] learn about the presence of politicians in schools and how we can build and improve our programs. Olivia has already met with MPs Scott Andrews, Manon Perreault and Mike […]
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