Increasing young people’s political participation is highlighted at the first Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Roadshow in CPA Canada Region
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The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) has brought its youth engagement programme, the CPA Roadshow, to Canada for the first time at an event for university students in the Canadian capital city of Ottawa. The CPA Roadshows highlight the importance of encouraging youth engagement in the political process and the sharing of Commonwealth political values, especially with the 60% of the 2.4 billion population of the Commonwealth who are aged under 30. The CPA Roadshows also provided an opportunity to raise awareness of the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation in 2017 and the Commonwealth Summit due to be held in the UK in April 2018 on the theme of ‘Towards a Common Future’.
The Chair of the CPA Canada Federal Branch and Canada Federal Member of Parliament, Hon. Yasmin Ratansi, MP held an engaging CPA Roadshow session at Carleton University for students and alumni from the National Student Commonwealth Forum (NSCF), Carleton University and the University of Ottawa. The CPA Canada Chair was accompanied by Ms Lucy Pickles from the CPA Headquarters Secretariat who spoke about the work of the CPA and of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) in promoting gender equality.
The Chair of the CPA Canada Federal Branch, Hon. Yasmin Ratansi, MP said: “I am delighted to launch the first CPA Roadshow in the Canada Region during our 14th CPA Canadian Parliamentary Seminar. The purpose of the CPA Roadshow for young people is to engage with Canadian university students on the values that unite the Commonwealth. The CPA's public engagement work across the Commonwealth in engaging young people in the democratic process by discussing the importance of the Commonwealth is a key objective and this first CPA Roadshow in Canada has emphasised these values.”
The CPA Roadshow was organised by the CPA Canada Federal Branch in partnership with the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) Ottawa Branch. Mr Gregory Evanik, President, the Royal Commonwealth Society of Ottawa said: “This CPA and RCS Ottawa event reaffirmed our joint commitment to developing youth in order to ensure an enlightened and prosperous future for both the Commonwealth and Canada. This commitment to youth has been a long-standing priority in Canada. RCS Ottawa with the CPA have run annually a major youth development programme for high school and university students since the second CHOGM held in Ottawa, Canada, in 1972. The CPA Canadian Branch, is the central partner with RCS Ottawa in developing leaders for the future of the Commonwealth within Canada. This model for partnership for youth is one which RCS Ottawa would be delighted to share with other Commonwealth countries and their CPA Branches in a spirit of collaboration and sustainability of our Commonwealth values.”
The CPA Roadshows provide an opportunity for young people to learn about the political values of the Commonwealth such as diversity, development and parliamentary democracy; to discuss issues of concern about the society in which they live; and to find out about the work of the CPA through their questions at the sessions. For more information about the CPA Roadshows visit www.cpahq.org/cpahq/cparoadshows.
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