Mayoral Candidates debate at Grande-Rivière Highschool to introduce young people to municipal politics
Just days before the election, Grande-Rivière Secondary students welcomed five mayoral candidates to debate about issues relating to the environment and the place of young people in the municipality. France Bélisle (Independent), Rémi Bergeron (Independent), Jean-François LeBlanc (Independent), Jacques Lemay (Independent) and Maude Marquis-Bissonnette (Action Gatineau) participated in the debate at the Centre de services scolaire des Portages-de-l’Outaouais (CSSPO) on November 1 in order to inform students about municipal politics and get them involved in local democracy.
Students in the 3rd year of the Intermediate Education Program were moderators of the debate. The candidates were asked to vote on the various measures that could be adopted to make Gatineau a green city as well as on topics relating to the place of youth in municipal politics. Lastly, at the end of the debate each candidate explained why voters should vote for them.
“Municipal politics provides services that have a direct impact on our daily lives, and later it is up to us, the youth, to make decisions for our city. Being aware will allow us to be prepared and make wise choices for our future. In addition, activities such as mock votes and debates allow young people to get involved in political life.” state Rosalie Fillion and Amy Roy, moderators of the debate, highlighting that these events are important for young people because they are the future voters and candidates.
Leading up to the November 7 election, more than 800 students were taught about municipal democracy as part of their social education through Élections Québec’s program “Électeurs en herbe”. Students across the region in various high schools will also be participating in a mock vote between November 3rd and 5th organized by the Gatineau Youth Commission as part of their “C’est Parti, Je Vote!” program.
Many students will have had a chance to take part in an election simulation organized as part of the It’s On, I Vote program! of the Gatineau Youth Commissionthat took place the week leading up to November 7th. The results of the mock vote will be announced on November 7 on election night at Radio-Canada Ottawa-Gatineau.
It’s great that information and awareness activities on municipal politics were organized by students for students! These are initiatives, supported by school staff, that contribute to the development of citizenship education in schools. I am grateful that the mayoral candidates have answered the call and taken part in the game to discuss topics of interest to young people," says Nadine Peterson, Executive Director of the CSSPO.
Photo Caption: From left to right: back row, Maude Marquis-Bissonnette and Rémi Bergeron. Front row, Rosalie Fillion, Jacques Lemay, France Bélisle, Jean-François LeBlanc and Amy Roy. Photo: Courtesy of Centre de services scolaire des Portages-de-l’Outaouais