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Student Voices, Student Vote: Democracy in Action at Brookes Westshore

Wednesday, October 17, 2019, VICTORIA, CANADA: Local candidates across Esquimalt, Saanich and Sooke took to the hustings in an open All-Candidates Debate held at Brookes Westshore on Wednesday in the build-up to the federal election next week. Brookes Westshore students from across grades 6-12 posed their questions to candidates from the Liberal Party, the NDP, the Green Party, the People’s Party and the Communist Party. The local candidates fielded questions on a wide range of topics – from the environment to human rights, and from tax policy to immigration.

“We are delighted to offer our students the opportunity to engage with the democratic process here in Canada,” said Head of School Jerry Salvador, “Here at Brookes we place value and focus on building community.”

Jerry continued, “Watching our respected candidates’ voice their stances, here on the Brookes campus, and watching our students connect their learning to a local political context has been a rewarding experience for us all and a great way to connect with our community.”

Brookes Westshore is an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School home to over 120 twenty boarding students from more than 20 different nations around the world and more than eighty local day students.

Clear from the questions being posed by students, environmental sustainability is high priority for students at Brookes Westshore.

“It is so important that we take action on the climate crisis,” says Tristan, Grade 10, Brookes Westshore, “I really wanted to hear what each party is going to do to make sure our environment is protected.”

One candidate in particular was surprised (and delighted) to learn that a future leader of his party was in the audience. Sam, a Grade 6 student, was determined to announce his stated ambition to lead the Green Party one day.

The candidates meeting will be followed on Friday with a full-scale mock election – the culmination of Student Vote activities at Brookes Westshore. Student Vote is a nationwide program that over one million students participate in to become educated in governance and politics, cast their votes, and encourage active civic engagement as students transition to adulthood (see https://studentvote.ca/canada/ for more details). 

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James Boxshall: jboxshall@westshore.brookes.org

[t] 250 893 6938

[w] www.westshore.brookes.org