Canada’s new voters are 4H’ers

One of Quesnel's 4-H members attended the Citizenship Congress in Ottawa

Quesnel 4H’er Kayleen Dillabough

Recently, 70 youth from 4-H clubs across Canada, including Kayleen Dillabough from Quesnel, came to Parliament Hill to explore issues related to civic engagement and governance while cultivating their knowledge and pride for their country. These youth, ages 16-21, were in Ottawa for the annual 4-H Citizenship Congress which has been taking place since 1972.

They met with cabinet ministers, Members of Parliament and the Speaker of the House as they explored the conference theme Canada: Where Do We Stand?

That’s a timely question, given that many of these youth will vote for the first time in this year’s upcoming federal election.

With Canada’s voter turnout reaching historic lows over the past decade, seeing these young Canadians so actively engaged in learning about the democratic process and contemplating their place within it, was heartening to say the least.

4-H is a youth organization that empowers young people to consider all perspectives when establishing their belief systems – a freedom we are privileged to enjoy as Canadians.

This group of young women and men spent four days meeting with parliamentarians, members of the aboriginal community, new Canadians and NGOs to gain a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing our country.

So how will they make their mark? Will any of them someday be elected to public office? We know this is a very real possibility—some of Canada’s current parliamentarians are 4-H alumni, including Bev Shipley (MP), Mark Eyking (MP) and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Minister Gerry Ritz, to name only a few.

Given the level of commitment we observed among our 4-H members, we are confident they will go back to their communities with a stronger sense of citizenship which they will share with those around them.

At the conclusion of the Congress, 4-H delegates brought an uncharacteristically youthful feel to the Senate as they participated in a mock debate in the Red Chamber.

We all need to work as a community to find ways to inspire and engage Canada’s youth. Providing them with opportunities to learn to do by doing is far more effective than simply telling them to vote or how to vote.

And in the process, we will safeguard democratic principles for future generations.

– Submitted by Shannon Benner, CEO, 4-H Canada

Just Posted

Quesnel and Williams Lake under air quality advisory

Dust and overall air quality prompts Environment Canada to issue statement

Quesnel Forestry Hockey League highlights: Week 24

Serenity and BCS play to tie while Fraser River overwhelms Bear

Quesnel Outback Quadders get $6,000 grant for trail improvements

The three-year-old ATV club now has 240 paid members

PG RCMP seeks information following third suspicious incident involving child

Most recent incident occurred near North Tabor Boulevard and Ospika Boulevard

Quesnel River Archers score top prizes in 100 Mile House

Six of eight shooters landed top five finishes

Quesnel’s Barkerville Brewing Co. collaborating on another Pink Boots brew

Twenty-one people had a hand in brewing the hibiscus dry-hopped lager

B.C. fire department offers tips to keep your home safe during wildfire season

With wildfire season getting closer, the Penticton Fire Dept. offer tips to keep your home safe

Fierce feline spotted as ‘aggressor’ in face off with coyote in B.C. backyard

North Vancouver resident Norm Lee captures orange cat versus coyote in backyard showdown

Wilson-Raybould to reveal more details, documents on SNC-Lavalin affair

Former attorney general has written to the House of Commons justice committee

Anti-discrimination group wants to map offenders with cross-Canada hate atlas

Morgane Oger Foundation issues call for volunteers to help build Canadian Atlas of Populist Extremism

Kater to launch ridesharing service in Vancouver by end of month

The Surrey-based company got its permits from the Vancouver Taxi Association

Second case of measles reported in the B.C. Interior

Case is connected to an earlier measles case in 100 Mile House

Cheetahs will not prosper in Creston: Permit rejected for two big cats

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

Most Read