Young people from throughout British Columbia are gaining insight into the history and value of democracy and the role of government and its key institutions while in Victoria this week.
Democracy in Action youth conference is a two-day pilot project for approximately 30 youth being held October 27-28, 2014. Supported by the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development and B.C. Rotary Clubs, the conference is aimed at fostering a better understanding of the privileges and responsibilities of citizenship and promoting active engagement in civic duties and opportunities in home communities.
Today, the 16-to-18-year-old participants explore the founding of democracy in British Columbia, the establishment of B.C. as a province and the role it played in the First World War at workshops led by experts at the Royal BC Museum. Special artifacts will be on display, including letters, uniforms and photographs from the First World War and the Douglas Commission proclamation that created the Crown Colony of British Columbia in 1858.
Conference activities include meeting Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon during a learning session at Government House, and various workshops on the electoral process and the operations of government presented by Elections BC, government leaders and senior officials.
The youth will also learn about opportunities to experience democracy in action in home communities during the November 15, 2014, municipal elections, such as encouraging family members to vote, attending community Remembrance Day events, or becoming involved with a youth parliament organization.
Coralee Oakes, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development -
“Democracy is at the heart of our societal values. This program is designed to encourage future leaders to actively take part in civic duties to ensure their communities, and this province, remain vibrant and engaged.”
Jim Ling, District Interact Program chairman, Rotary District 5040 -
“As a provincewide service organization with strong youth programs, B.C. Rotary Clubs encourage and support this government initiative. It provides youth with an opportunity to learn about and engage in the democratic process in a manner reflecting British Columbians’ desire for fairness, ethics, caring and concern.”
Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development