Valour student headed to Queen's Park
PETAWAWA – One local teen has been granted the rare opportunity to represent the Ottawa Valley at the 2018 Ontario Model Parliament program.
Each year, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario Model Parliament Program invites Ontario high school students, in grades 10 through 12, to take part in the unique educational experience at Queen’s Park.
For students who are especially interested in politics, the Model Parliament program provides them with a rare behind-the-scenes look at the provincial legislature and a chance to meet key figures in Ontario’s parliament.
Although, while all students are invited to apply, only 107 are accepted – with each representing one of the province's ridings.
Tobias Gallas, a Grade 11 student at Valour School, was selected to be this year’s Model Parliament representative for the Renfew-Nippising-Pembroke riding.
Gallas will be heading down to Toronto next week, to take part in the three-day experience from Feb. 21 to 23.
“To be accepted I had to write an essay about why you were a good fit for the program, so I wrote about my time at school and how I’ve taken on many leadership positions like student council as well as serving as a youth advisor for our MP Cheryl Gallant,” said Gallas. “And I just enjoy politics a lot. It's something I hopefully plan on doing in the future and I just think it would be a great experience to know what the legislative process is really like.”
During the program, students have an opportunity to meet the key officials in the legislature, tour the building, learn about its history, and study the province’s legislative process.
By the end of the three days, the students will take their seats in the Legislative Assembly Chamber to participate in a debate as the ‘MPP’ for their home riding.
The Valour student expressed that he’s more than eager to learn about Ontario’s legislative progress, gain greater insight into the province’s parliamentary practices and traditions and meet key political figures.
“I’m most excited about meeting the politicians who shape the way we live in Ontario, because I’ve read articles about them and I’ve seen them on TV but I’d really like to know what it's like to meet them up close and in person,” said Gallas. “I’ll hopefully get to meet our own MPP there, John Yakabuski, we've been in touch so that's something I’m looking forward to as well.”