Grand Forks student participates in B.C. Youth Parliament

Jacob Noseworthy was one of 90 youth throughout B.C. who were selected for the chance to participate in a mock parliamentary session

Jacob Noseworthy

Jacob Noseworthy

The Christmas holidays are a time for getting together with family and, for some, vacations in warm lands.One young student got an opportunity he’ll not soon forget as he got to travel to Victoria to participate in the B.C. Youth Parliament at the legislature building.Jacob Noseworthy, who attends Walker Development Centre, was one of 90 youth throughout B.C. who were selected for the chance to participate in a mock parliamentary session in the actual legislature.“I had to apply, as well as get nominated by my school,” said Noseworthy, who also had to submit an essay and an application.Noseworthy travelled by himself to Victoria by bus and then ferry. He, and all the parliamentarians, stayed at the prestigious Harbour Towers Hotel. The parliament sessions went for 14 hours per day from Dec. 27-31.“We took their (MLAs) seats ourselves and we debated on issues,” he said. “We passed our own legislation which is binding and goes on throughout the year which revolves around our community work and future sessions. We also debated private members resolutions which anyone could write about worldwide issues, community issues, issues that affect B.C., Canada or anything.”  For Noseworthy, who plans on becoming involved in politics, it was a great experience.“I thought it was an amazing opportunity because we actually got to sit in the legislature where our MLAs sit and go through the legislative policy just like they do but we got to debate our own legislation for B.C. Youth Parliament,” he said.Noseworthy came up with a private members resolution on criminalizing cyberbullying although it did not get debated.“There were 35 resolutions proposed and we only had time to debate three of them,” he said. “But it still went into the journals we all received.”The young Parliamentarians also got to hear from some of the MLAs who spoke about the legislative process.The group also got to tour the Lieutenant-Governor’s house.“It was a great experience,” said Noseworthy. “I’d recommend it to anyone. I’m hoping to go back next year.”Next up, Noseworthy plans to attend the regional youth parliament in Nelson on May 3-5.“It’s for people from ages 14-18 to go to,” he said. “It’s a smaller version of the youth parliament in Victoria. It’s also a stepping stone to get there and into politics as well.”Noseworthy said he’s hoping to get into a career in politics and his experience in Victoria has only bolstered his enthusiasm.“I like the aspect of being able to make changes in your community, your area, and the country as a whole and being able to voice the concerns of the people of your region,” said Noseworthy.More information on B.C. Youth Parliament can be found at www.bcyp.org.The B.C. Youth Parliament is a non-profit, non-partisan youth service organization run by youth between the ages of 16 and 21.The idea of a youth government dates back over 100 years in Canada. The first in British Columbia, the BC Older Boys’ Parliament was held in January, 1924.The first youth premier was Walter S. Owen, who later became the Lieutenant Government of B.C. from 1973 to 1978.Youth parliaments have been run in the province in different formats almost every year since.