Grade 11 students, who have a major unit on the Canadian political system, recently gained valuable insight into the world of politics when teacher Graham Lilly brought in three successful players in the provincial and federal levels of government.
Last week, federal Minister of Natural Resources Gary Lunn spoke about his experiences with politics in Ottawa as well as overseas. He kept the students entertained with stories and anecdotes about his very busy political life.
David Cubberley, a local MLA and the Opposition Critic for Education, gave the students a feel for what an effective opposition at the provincial level does and is able to do. Cubberley’s political career began in 1990 as a Saanich councillor and he served on the board of the Capital Regional District.
Thursday afternoon, Denise Savoie, the MP for the riding around St. Michaels University School, was the final speaker in the series. Ms. Savoie spoke about the challenges of dealing with federal issues while still representing the needs of her community.
“This is the smallest minority government in history,” says Ms. Savoie, whose role in the opposition includes post-secondary education and literacy issues. Ms. Savoie paid particular attention to the former topic, in consideration of her audience. “In Canada right now, we know that 70% of jobs require post-secondary education.”
The Grade 11 students are now contemplating a trip to Ottawa to see the federal government in action sometime this term.