I feel so guilty about neglecting my blog, and I really, really miss it. Even if no one reads it, I still like to share what’s going on in our lives.
I am very proud to share that our oldest son, Tyler, was selected to participate in a program called, The Legislative Assembly of Ontario Model Parliament, held in Toronto, last week. It was a program he talked about for quite awhile before it actually took place. He needed to write an essay and submit it for a chance to be selected to participate.
He submitted his essay and was so excited when he was selected! Being only the third annual Model Parliament, and being accepted was a great achievement for him. Tyler has been interested in politics for a very long time (and gets easily irritated by our negative comments about politicians and the way the system doesn’t work, but we’re definitely jaded). His career goals include being in the Navy, and he’d like to follow that up by being in politics. A mom doesn’t become much more proud than I am, honestly.
So, the program helps to arrange temporary housing for the duration of the event, and when his first hosts fell through, he was able to connect with someone else in a neighbouring city and took the train out and back every day from there. Thank goodness his trips to Kingston every summer have broken me in, it’s pretty tough to be without him at home 😦
He called us every night during his three-day program, and it really made my day to hear the happiness in his voice, as he talked about which politicians he met, and what party he was with (Liberals, FYI), and the friends he’d made during his time there. He’d been conversing with a lot of the other teens in the program through Facebook for quite some time, and it was nice to see them all get along so well.
They were split up into three major parties, Liberals, Conservatives and the NDP. Each party had a bill they were trying to pass, so they needed to come up with issues, arguments, challenges, amendments, pros and cons of the solutions that went with them, and then the vote needed to take place. And can I just say, the leader of Tyler’s party definitely had Justin Trudeau’s hairdo going on! I even asked if they picked him for that role based on his hair 🙂
Parents were allowed to watch them in action on the final day. I was so pumped to go and see him. I know from personal, first-hand experience that my teenager can definitely argue, so I wanted to see how he did in this setting!
I had never been to Queen’s Park before, I had no idea where it was or what it looked like inside, but after we passed security, it was something to see. The building was completed in 1893, and was built using Canadian-made materials wherever possible. It’s lined with dark wood paneling, marble walls (NOT good for wi-fi, just throwing that out there!), and hand-laid tiles in various designs. Stained glass windows, and even one on the roof that acts as a sky light, are part of the amazing features of this historic building.
The Legislative Chamber is HUGE… with multi-leveled seating along all four inside walls, which are NEVER shown on television. There are cameras all over the place (with screens for people in the leveled seating areas to view what’s going on in the middle). The dark wood was also inside the Chamber as paneling and seating, and it’s decked out in plush, green carpeting.
I found the seating area to be quite narrow, and the benches we were in had really high backs, and next to nothing in front. I was really afraid of falling over, because of the narrowness, and the lack of a higher railing in the front. But, no one died, or even fell over, so I guess it’s all good lol!
We had to be on the guest list and wear special badges in order to be there. I gotta be honest, I kinda felt how Garth in Wayne’s World must have felt with his all-access Alice Cooper backstage pass, flashing my special badge. I wonder why security was smiling so much? LOL!
In the end, Tyler’s party won (darn those Liberals and how they always win lol) They only won because they had the majority of seats, and they tried to make people who had to use the washroom wait, so they would have the numbers they needed to pass the bills.
It made for very interesting conversation on the drive home from Toronto… he had such a great time, and while he missed being home, he also wished the experience was longer. Unfortunately, he can only be accepted into the program once, to give other students a chance.
I’m thrilled that my son enjoyed this experience so much, and that he learned as much as he did. A little taste of what could be in his very promising future.
How could any mama not be proud?