After a couple of years away due to the pandemic, the Saskatchewan Legislature will be busy with the sounds of debate over the long weekend.
Saskatchewan Youth Parliament, an organization with over 100 years of history, is going on at the Leg.
Organizer, and SYP alumnus, Brett Estey said it’s a chance for youth to improve their public speaking skills, and also to build connections across political lines.
“I know even for myself, a lot of my friends that I still hang around with are former members, who we don’t see eye to eye on everything,” Estey said. “We could use a lot more of that were we could agree to disagree, if you will.”
Youth between ages 15 to 21 this weekend will be working to improve politically-useful skill sets, like workshops with a Weyburn city councillor, with Member of Parliament Michael Kram, and MLA Nicole Sarauer to talk about their insights into common issues they face.
Estey said building these skills are important, and talked about what they speakers will be talking about.
“What is it like to work with a community group, what it’s like to advocate for issues in your community and bring those forward,” he said. “(We’re) just trying to make sure that they walk away with a more grounded experience and they do have something they can build off of and have better insight about how they can build their community.”
It’s a smaller group of young people between age 15 and 21 this year since the pandemic cancelled the last two years.
“We are kind of using this as a bit of a startup process, and we’re going to be doing things a bit different than we would normally,” Estey said. “We look at it as an opportunity for us to build towards the future and get things going. We do know that it’s worthwhile.”
Youth Parliament alumni include former Lt.-Gov. Gordon Barnhart, former prime minister John Diefenbaker and former premier Lorne Calvert.
“It’s something that certainly, we pride ourselves on some of the political voices we’ve had (in the) discourse here,” Estey said. “But also in terms of how we’ve helped people grow and develop in other areas. It could be in education, it could be in media, being a lawyer, engineers, business…”
The event begins tonight and continues through until Monday.