The Representative - Issue 1

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Issue 1 A Few Words From the Canadian Youth Assembly Well, We’re still rolling along! There’s a lot going on with the CYA and we’re always looking for new volunteers! I’d like to start by welcoming Hattie Zhao, who will be helping us out finding and applying for grants! Immanuel Giuela, who most of you probably already know, will be helping the CYA outreach to Francophones and translating some of our website! Finally, I’d also like to welcome Julie Labre who will be performing some research in
  A Few Words From the CYA.................................CoverGet Youtsel Out There.........................................CoverPutting Canada Back on the Map.............................1Turning Of Voters.......................................................1Food For Fuel...............................................................2What is The Representative?....................................2We Want YOU...............................................................2CYA RIding Reorm Part 1..........................................3The Reason I vote...................................................4A Message From the Executive Director............4I You Don’t Vote.....................................................5CYA Party Inormation...........................................6Member Highlight..................................................6Volunteers Wanted.................................................7Our Volunteer Team...............................................8Events and Opportunities.....................................9Oh, The Memories.................................................10 Issue 1 A Few Words From the Canadian Youth AssemblyGet Yoursel Out There Elizabeth Deschamps IN THIS ISSUE Well, We’re still rolling along! There’s a lot going on with the CYA and we’re always looking or new volunteers! I’d like to start by welcoming Hattie Zhao, who will behelping us out nding and applying orgrants! Immanuel Giuela, who most o  you probably already know, will be help ing the CYA outreach to Francophones and translating some o our website! Finally, I’d also like to welcome Julie Labre whowill be perorming some research into outreach to absrcinals! One her work is done we’ll be releasing their ndings so that all Canadian youth organizations can benet rom them! We are still looking or volunteers! We’re always on the lookout or volunteers to help the CYA in many ways! I you wouldlike to get involved and help out (we can issue volunteer hours or those o youlooking to complete your community service requirements) eel ree to see the volunteer section o our website, or to email the Executive Director, Tyler Som- mers ( and let us know where your passions are and whatyou’d like to do! We strive to create posi tions that people want to be in and where they eel they would gain the most, sodon’t eel bound to the positions listed on the website. The firsT general election or the CYA will be coming up in a ew months! We’rehoping to put together a ew smaller conerences beore then, so that we canspread the word and start helping young people become more eective and ef- cient leaders in their communities! We are looking or organizations to part ner and work with so that we can haveas much o an eect as possible. The CYA reaches out to youth, getting them involved in their communities (whether local, provincial, national, or anything in between), helps train youth to become eective leaders, provides inormation and opportunities or youth to develop their skills, and will assist in representingyouth to one another and the Canadian people. Our goal is to help youth become active and eective citizens and leadersin every aspect o their lives! NoW, This is the rst issue o The Rep-resentative! There will be all sorts o inormation throughout rom many o  our members! I you would like to have your work eatured here, whether it bewriting, artwork, or anything else, eel ree to email it to and we’ll be sure to include it in the next issue! The world is a big place: there are endless cultures, languages, and societies toexplore. So…do it.Students have a wide variety o opportunities to get out there and explore theworld. One o the benets o going witha program is that you don’t have to “goit alone”. Rather than simply wanderingaround Europe or Asia with what you cancarry on your back you can study, complete a coop, or even work while you’rethere. In doing so you have the opportunity to learn about a new culture, possibly pick up a new language, and meetpeople rom around the world. The options are endless. For those inhigh school, go talk to your guidancecounselors. Programs like Rotary International Youth Exchange and EF are extremely popular, but there are also shorter exchanges and a multitude o otheroptions that are open to you. Guidancecounselors are really the best people totalk to in order to nd out dierent options to help you nd once the opportunity that best rst with your lie and youracademic goals.I you’re in university, then you oten havethe ability to complete either a semesteror year abroad as part o your studies orcoop. Adversely, i you’re looking to takea year break orm your studies there areendless programs that are up or grabs. These include programs such as SWAPwhich give you a bit o a support systemas your nding your way around. The world o the internet has opened upcountless doors and sources o inormation. There are orums stock lled withadvice and opportunities, so, turn toyour best riend, Google. Get searching,get looking, and get out there!  Voting. Did you partake in that mystical ritual? Did you marchdown to your polling station to put an x next to a name? I had the pleasure to attend a panel about the Canadian elec- tion on October 17th, put on bythe politics department o the U o W. Many issues were discussed, but the most important question o the 50-minute panel came atthe very end, when a student asked why young people were notgoing out to mark their ballots on election day, or indeed why we saw such a low voter turnout as 59% on the 14th. It’s too bad that the panellists didn’t have a chance to answer that question, because politicians everywhere in Canadaare pulling out their hair trying to nd an answer (and a solution) to this question. What will bring people outto the polls to vote? How can we appeal to that 41%o Canadianswho stayedat home on Election Day? I saw thisproblem mysel over the past ew weeks. I ran as the New Democrat can-didate in Saint Boniace or this election, and I saw and talked with peoplewho just didn’t want to get out and vote.  There were a whole host o reasons, but the biggest one among these was that peopleare getting turned o by the current electoral soap operas. People turn on the newsand don’t see the issues, they see pooping pufns, and slam ads against other parties,and candidates being tured or something they wrote in a blog ve years ago. I’m sure that it makes all the pundits and political hacks happy when they turn on the TV andsee Stéphane Dion umble his way through an interview by not being able to answera question, but that sort o thing just turns o regular people rom getting engaged in the political scene. It’s not to say that we aren’t politicallyactive. University students and young people in general are gungho or ghtingor their belies. NGOs, community groups,and all kinds o issues (I’ll see you all at the rally or lower tuition ees on November the 5th, right?) are being championed by people who are concerned about wherethe country is headed. And I really don’t believe that 41% o Canadians don’t care about politics at all. People want to make sure their tax dollars are being spent where they eel they should go, and that the gov ernment o the day is acting in the people’s best interest. No, the problem isn’t with the people.  The problem is with the political parties.I am convinced that the biggest turno  rom voting in this election was all the neg- ative advertising. Pundits reerred to this election as “the dirty campaign” because o all the underhanded tricks and attacks that the parties were using on the campaign;pointing ngers and attacking the otherparties instead o discussing what your party’s values and goals were. People toldme at the door that they didn’t know what the issues were, so they were inclined to not vote or that reason. Easy to nd party websites with tons o inormation at the click o a mouse aside, that’s an absolutely true statement. The media didn’t pick up on the issues when they were reporting; they talked instead about campaign gaes and who was winning in the polls. When Jack Layton came to town to unveil his plan or home care or seniors, most o the questions the media asked were regarding the Gerry Ritz scandal. Hardly any ques-tions were asked about the policy itsel, and when the clips hit the news, most o  the report was what Jack had to say about the wisecrackin’ agriculture minister, and not about the policy presented that morn ing. And this doesn’t happen with only one party: the media asking Harper what vegetable he would be during a policy state ment is at best a loose connection with theissue at hand, and at worst a cheap ploy or a sound bite. While I would put parto the blame or this onthe media themselvesor selective reporting,I would also accuse thepoliticians o ocusingtheir eorts during thecampaign on the gaesthemselves. I think that partisan politics has reallylost its way in the past ew years, and party leaders are rantically scrambling to undermine the other guy rather than present their plan.Look at Question Period in the House o  Commons: that’s enough to turn any politi- cal neophyte o their lunch, never mind their interest in the political system. Hurling insults and pointing ngers at each otheror an hour? What are we watching here?  The answer to all o this is blatantly simple: political parties need to stop bicker- ing and start working together and talking about the issues. On election campaigns, stop talking about what the other government didn’t do twenty years ago, and start talking about what you’re going to do now. Stop attacking other candidates, and start promoting your team and your policies. I am an active member in the NDP becauseI believe in the issues that the NDP stands or, and I believe that they have the bestplan (by ar!) to deal with the problems acing society today. I am not a member o  the NDP because Stephen Harper is a scary guy that I’ll do anything to stop. Politics shouldn’t ocus on the negative like that; politics should ocus on the positive. I think a lot o politicians who might read this, even some within my own party, will disagree with me on what I’m saying here, and who can blame them? This isthe system that the country has run on or decades now. But I think it’s time or a change in how we play politics, becauseno matter which party you’re rom, 41%o people not voting is an unacceptable statistic. And i getting that 41% to the polls means working together and thinking inthe positive more oten, then gosh darn it, we’re all just going to have to swallow our pride and work together. Yes, it’ll be a change in how things are working now, and that might scare away some peopleon Parliament Hill. But government isn’t working on behal o MPs, it’s working onbehal o Canadians. And not just the 59%that vote, either. “I am convinced that the biggest turn-of   rom voting in this election was all the negative advertising.”  Turning Of Voters Mttw s  Wttn t 2008  etn Putting Canada Back on the Map Canada’s World is a collaboration between 15 universities and over 40 organizationswith one major aim  to engage Canadians in a big conversation about our nation’srole in the world.Over the past ew years, Canada’s World has traveled across the country, holdingdialogue sessions and recording your opinions. Our discussions have broughtCanadians o all backgrounds together to share their dreams or the uture o Canadianoreign policy. Using the perspectives we’ve heard in those dialogue sessions, we’retruly putting our country Back on the Map by sharing a new story about a bolder, moreresponsible Canada in the world.A project o the SFU Centre or Dialogue, Canada’s World is in the last stage o a threeyear citizens’ dialogue that engages Canadians in developing a new story or Canada inthe world.In the rst two years o our project, we brought Canadians together or conversationson the issues that dene the current global environment  issues that provide bothopportunities and challenges or Canadians. We now ocus on how to share the resultso those conversations and how to implement changes based on the priorities yougave us.Unlike traditional processes and consultations led by government, this project isunded by individuals, businesses, international organizations and oundations whowant to inspire citizens to write a new story or Canada. Learn more about us byollowing the links below:  Photo by KaitlynneRae Landry We Want YOU! What can you submit? Why would yousubmit something? Who is going toread this? Well, we have some answers. subMissioNs roM members just like you are what has allowed us to put togetherthis magazine and what will allow us to continue to put out new issues. There are very ew limitations to what we will publishin this or all o your peers to view, read, andenjoy. We accept articles on virtually every topic, whether they are personal, political,or anything else. for Those o you who enjoy taking or making images, we would love or you tosubmit some o your work to us so that wecan share it with our members! aNyoNe eNjoy creating comics or those humorous drawings we all look orward to in various newspapers? Well, we’ll gladly accept and publish those as well! There is only one catch to submittingthings to The Representative, and that is that you allow or us to publish them (but why else would you submit them?). We don’t oer any compensation (payment) orthe pieces either. Keep in mind that we are a notorprot and do not gain anything, except the satisaction o sharing your work  with youth throughout Canada, rom this. subMiTTiNg is EASY! All you have to do isnd whatever piece you’d like to submit tous and send it to:  THEREPRESENTATIVE@CYA-AJC.CA And there   we go, all done. We may have to ormat it a little bit in order to t it in, we might break it into multiple pieces, butwe’ll let you know i we make any changesat all. so go ahead and send us your srcinal work! Whether it be a rant, a blog post, a political piece, a policy suggestion, a pic-ture, a cartoon, a... well you get the mes- sage. Just send it in and enjoy that it willbe shared with the many, many members o the Canadian Youth Assembly and youth throughout Canada. everyoNe has to start somewhere. What better place to start than by sharing yourthoughts and opinions with your peers? iN a world o botox injections and miraculous blue pills, it’s never been easier to lieabout our age. One dead giveaway, how ever, is common in these parts. A quick  jog into a busy convenience store or gas station, and you’re sure to elicit a comment along the lines o “my Lord, with the prices these days. I remember when gasoline was a nickel a gallon,” or something o the like. And we’re all guilty- I remember when a bag o chips was ninetynine cents. Given my current girth, perhaps it’s or the best that prices o sweets are going up but orhundreds o millions o people, the risingprice o grains equates to amine and starvation. accordiNg To the UN, global ood prices have risen 83% in the past seven yearsalone. Driven by poor growing condi- tions, market volatility in the wake o the US subprime mortgage debacle, and the stampede towards biouels and renewable, cheap gas, the price o ood is at its highest in more than 40 years with no signs o  relie. According to analysis, as much as40% o this jump is directly attributed tobiouels- we are taking ood and turning it into uel or Western consumers. While biouels are potentially very promising or weaning us o the ossil uel teat, our need or cheap and clean uel should never endanger the lives o those who need our help the most. Further research or the syn-thesis o biouels is developing, and we aremoving towards technology that will allow us to ll up both stomachs and uel tanksbut we’re not there yet. We’re lucky here in Canada: we’ve been largely sheltered rom the price jump due to our strong dollar compared to the green- back, but prices are starting to change. Already, the price o four and rice are up,and with rising transportation costs, it will be rural Canadians who are hit the hardest; but this pales in comparison to the third world. Already the World Food Programme,the UN mission dedicated to ending world hunger, has had to cut rations to some o the tens o millions o children it eeds on a daily basis. The WFP has asked or anadditional$755 million in international aid to meet current needs, and as always, we are slow in answering the call. I we cannot slake our massive thirst or uel, then the least we can do is carve into our budget surpluses and give more generously. There is enough ood in the world to eed everybody- so whichever way you twist it, it’s absolutelyreprehensible that people starve while we turn ood into uel. We may be able to hideour age, but we can’t shirk our responsibili- ties. What is The Representative? The represeNTaTive is an initiative launched by the Canadian Youth Assembly (CYA - in order to helpyoung Canadians develop some o their skills and share their work, thoughts, andopinions with their peers throughout our great they are personal, political,or anything else. as WiTh everything that we do, there are no prots and we aredoing this in order to help you. for Those o you who want to pursuea career in journalism or writing, peer reviewed publications, like this, are a great way to make a start and to learn what people like a dislike. or arTisTs who want to share their work with others, whether it be to get eedback  in order to become better, or simply to work, and socializing could come in handywhen we least expect it. of course or those o you who would like to rant about current issues or oer aninsightul and well documented piece are welcome to submit their articles. We are showcasing what youthare capable o aterall and we know that many o you are able to write incredibly. Your ideas are those that will shape the uture o our great nation and there’s absolutely no reason or you to wait to get them outthere and to get eedback! When we work together and when we share our ideas, wedevelop and we learn like no other time. The represeNTaTive is about you. Showcas- ing and sharing you. Anything you wouldlike to submit, whenever you would like tosubmit it. Just send an email to share your work so that others may enjoyit, The Representative will ull this role. for you with the sense o humor and some artistic talent, comic strips, charac-tures, or similar amusing pieces are sure to be a hit. shariNg experieNces is something that I’m sure many o us will benet rom. Knowing that you’re not alone, that others have gone through similar trials and tribulations is incredibly helpul. Oering advice to others is something that will never go out o style. Tidbits o advice about school, Food or Fuel c btn (2008)  Te Canadian Youth Assembly was faced with a challenge: resource limitations, the requirement of holding national elections, and no system which was developed to represent young Canadians. Ourmembership developed a new riding system. One meant to grow with the organization. Adam Schneider was a key actor in this and has written the logic behind the changes. Part 1 is a general overview. Canadian Youth Assembly Riding ReormPart 1 - An Overview Adam Schneider  The primary raison d’ètre is simple: theCYA, being a new and stilldevelopingorganization, needs to save money. Oneo the big ways in which this is possibleis by cutting down on the nancialrequirement needed to elect and supportYouth Representatives in the Assembly. That means having ewer members thanthe 308 which constitute the real Houseo Commons. The trouble with thatendeavour is that there needs to be asubstantial reduction while still retainingadequate regional representation; it’s atricky balancing act, as you will see.Possibly an even greater problem isgetting everybody to agree on anarrangement. I was late in coming tothe CYA’s Gradual Growth Committeeboard; when I was granted access back in December, what I could immediatelygather was that nothing comprehensivehad been done. Oh, there had beensome calculations based on nice, round50/100/150/200/250seat targets,but none o the provincespecicdiscussions had ever come to any sorto conclusion, nor made a real eortto ollow one o those targets or someunied system. Everything was all overthe map (literally), and the board waspretty much dead.So what to do? It was the Christmasbreak, I was done my exams, and Ineeded something un to challengemy mind. (Yes, “un.” I’m in engineering. To me, basic math like this is un.) So, Ithought, why not work upwards romthe numbers o youth in each provinceinstead o adopting a target? Coulda air and unied system be ound tothat allocate seats to each province?Steven Heidel, the CYA’s ElectionsCoordinator, had posted a breakdowno percentages o youth in each provincein the calculations thread:NL: 0.0182894586 PE: 0.0047279466NS: 0.0294165332 NB: 0.0243019700QC: 0.2368288461 ON: 0.3711107619MB: 0.0382326384 SK: 0.0359777907AB: 0.1092728116 BC: 0.1282931003YK: 0.0009802601 NT: 0.0014092798NU: 0.0011610969Little did I know those numbers were rom2004 and were unreliable; but I’ll touch onthat later. So, where to start? I decided todivide all the various jurisdictions by thesmallest youth population (the Yukon),and got this:NL: 19 PE: 5 NS: 30 NB: 25QC: 242 ON: 379 MB: 39 SK: 37AB: 111 BC: 131 YK: 1 NT: 1 NU: 1… which yielded a total o 1021 ridings,which is actually way more than thesrcinal 308, and which clearly won’t work.So, then, I decided to discard the territories(as they were all going to come up withsimilar results), orcing them to have 1seat each, and decided to try dividingeverybody by the smallest province, PrinceEdward Island:NL: 4 PE: 1 NS: 6 NB: 5QC: 50 ON: 78 MB: 8 SK: 8AB: 23 BC: 27 YK: 1 NT: 1 NU: 1… which gave a total o 213 ridings – muchbetter than over a thousand. Still, it wasn’tquite what I was looking or; so, I thought,how about dividing everybody by hal o Newoundland & Labrador (because o itsgeographical split)? The result:NL: 2 PE: 1 NS: 3 NB: 3QC: 26 ON: 41 MB: 4 SK: 4AB: 12 BC: 14 YK: 1 NT: 1 NU: 1… or a total o 113 this time. However, thisseemed a little too low; the combinationsmight be a more than a little painul.(Most o Quebec as triple ridings? Noway.) Maybe the answer lay somewherein between. With that in mind, I decidedto try dividing everybody by onethird o the youth population o Newoundland &Labrador, with this result:NL: 3 PE: 1 NS: 5 NB: 4QC: 39 ON: 61 MB: 6 SK: 6AB: 18 BC: 21 YK: 1 NT: 1 NU: 1… or a total o 167 ridings! This seems likethe best balance so ar, no? I thought so,too. In act, the calculated numbers werepretty close to whole numbers o seatseven beore rounding. So I adopted thisramework and moved to the step o goingthrough each o the provinces’ ridingsto combine them into their respectiveallocations. I used the CBC’s online mapo the 2008 ederal election results asboth a visual and a naming resource, as Iwanted everything to make geographicsense. I decided to stick to the ollowingguidelines as I worked:* Party standings in individual ridingswould have no bearing on combinations;* As in real lie, no ridings would crossprovincial/territorial boundaries;* Geographical area o the ridings wouldbe taken into account, in addition to thepotential numbers o youth in the riding;* Combined ridings would have to borderone another to orm contiguous areas;* The urban/rural balance would needto be maintained, as much as reasonablypossible;* I would rather have more double ridings,instead o triple/quadruple ridings, giventhe diculty in representing more youthor more area;* Reuniting split communities would bea secondary goal, where possible;* No reallie ridings would be split.Ater I had created a preliminary (i.e. drat)combination system or the ridings, Ipresented my idea to the Gradual GrowthCommittee. Cue the suggestions, theeedback, and the nitpicking – un times! This is where Immanuel Giulea o the AYCCcame in: he had the keen idea o goingthrough the 2006 Census data or eachriding and compiling the number o youthin each riding who were between ages15 and 24, as a means o checking andvalidating my combinations. In doing so,he ound a key error: Steven’s numbershad been rom 2004, while the morecomprehensive, useul, and reliablecensus data was rom 2006. This meantwe had to do everything again.In order to extrapolate the numberso youth ages 14 through 24 in eachprovince in 2009, Immanuel wentthrough the numbers or ages 11 through21 in the 2006 census, added them upor each province and territory, and thenound what percentage each provinceand territory had out o the whole youthpopulation or that age range. We nowhad new initial proportions:NL: 0.0152626350 (down)PE: 0.0045559625 (down)NS: 0.0279895355 (down)NB: 0.0220135189 (down)QC: 0.2249472972 (down)ON: 0.3903970043 (up)MB: 0.0391924232 (up)SK: 0.0341016630 (down)AB: 0.1112025662 (up)BC: 0.1261994099 (down)YK: 0.0010352999 (up)NT: 0.0016429759 (up)NU: 0.0014597085 (up)… which, as you can see on closeinspection, are somewhat dierent romthe rst set (nothing drastic, though),resulting in a dierent distributiono seats. Immanuel suggested keepingQuebec’s existing gure o 39 ridings andworking out all o the other provinces andterritories accordingly. The new result (andthe one we nally settled on) is as ollows:NL: 3 PE: 1 NS: 5 NB: 4QC: 39 ON: 68 (gained 7)MB: 7 (gained 1) SK: 6AB: 19 (gained 1)BC: 22 (gained 1) YK: 1NT: 1 NU: 1 The correction had added 10 ridings,or a grand total o the 177 you seetoday. With the new breathing room, Iwas able to split up several ridings thatwere either geographically huge or wereknown to have a high youth population.Fortunately, however, a lot o issues withthe combinations and naming had beenresolved by that point; as a result, only aew small tweaks ollowed beore noneo the CYA members on the orums hadanything let to bring orward. Next upwere Tyler and his sta; I wasn’t sure howthey’d like it but I was pleased to hear thatit passed the Board o Directors withoutcomplaint. Yay or progress!
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