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Talking with students in Nova Scotia

Posted by Geoff Regan on October 25, 2012 | No Comments

Young Canadians are taking control of their futures by getting educated, getting vocal and getting involved.

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit three of Nova Scotia’s world-class universities: Mount Saint Vincent, St. Francis Xavier and Saint Mary’s. At each of these schools, I found students who are taking action to make a better future for Canada.

On October 9, Senator Jane Cordy and I spoke with a political science class at Mount Saint Vincent University in my riding of Halifax West. These students were focused on learning about the political system in Canada – how policies are developed, how elections are run and how laws are made. This is a critical first step to getting Canadians involved in the political process. The more you understand our political system, the more likely you are to participate.

On October 11, Rodger Cuzner and I returned to our old stomping grounds at St. FX. Some things have changed on campus, like the addition of the Schwartz School of Business, which I toured with Dr. Tom Mahaffey, Chair and Professor of the Department of Business Administration. Some things haven’t changed a bit, like the students’ school spirit and interest in politics. I joined the lively Young Liberals campus club for a pizza party and the annual Allan J. MacEachen Lecture in Politics. The St. FX Young Liberals are fantastic ambassadors for our party on campus and are keeping the political conversation ball rolling at school and in their communities.

Finally, on October 15, I visited the Saint Mary’s University Students’ Association offices and had lunch at the Gorsebrook with a group of active students. Much of our conversation revolved around the municipal election campaign, in which one of the students was actually a candidate. We spoke about transit issues and also the Liberal leadership race. It was a thrill to talk with young people who were well informed and to see a young person take the leap to run for office.

That same afternoon, I met with representatives from Enactus Saint Mary’s. This group of dynamic students is applying entrepreneurial skills to social action. The program has three pillars – social, environmental and economic. Through their programs last year, the Enactus team generated $100,000 through 9,000 volunteer hours and created 10 new jobs in Nova Scotia. These students are making a real difference in people’s lives and learning valuable skills that will help them succeed in the work force.

Right now in Canada, young people are facing high tuition fees, heavy student debt loads, and the worst youth unemployment in a generation. But young Canadians are developing their skills, speaking out about policies that impact them and working together to make life better for their peers. I’m excited to have the chance to work with them to bring their goals and ideas to the House of Commons.

Geoff Regan

MP, Halifax West
Liberal Critic responsible for Industry and Consumer Affairs

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