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Encyclopedia > British Columbia Youth Parliament
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BCYP (British Columbia Youth Parliament) is a youth organization that operates in the Canadian province of British Columbia. Jump to: navigation, search Motto: Splendor Sine Occasu (Splendour without diminishment) Other Canadian provinces and territories Capital Victoria Largest city Vancouver Lieutenant-Governor Iona Campagnolo Premier Gordon Campbell (BC Liberal) Area 944,735 km² (5th) • Land 925,186 km² • Water 19,549 km² (2. ...


Annual Session

Each year between December 27-31, youth aged 16 to 21 from across British Columbia gather in the Legislative Chambers of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia in the capital city of Victoria for the BCYP annual session. Members sit as independents (i.e. they do not represent any political party) and vote according to their individual conscience on all issues. They learn about parliamentary process, debate topics of interest, and plan numerous activities for the upcoming year. Proposed activities, usually in the form of community service projects, are presented in the form of government bills; once passed they must be put into effect. This model differs from most other "mock" youth parliaments in Canada; legislation passed by the membership is enacted by the organization through volunteer work in the community. Legislature Building in Victoria, BC The Legislative Assembly of British Columbia is located in Victoria. ... Jump to: navigation, search The arms of Victoria. ...


Like most other Youth Parliaments in Canada, the B.C.Y.P. has its origins in the "boys work" movement of the Y.M.C.A. of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. "Boys’ work" was meant to answer the need for activities for young men who worked by day but were idle by night. Various programs came and went, often incorporating a dominant Y.M.C.A. philosophy of the "four-fold" development of the whole person, based upon the Gospel scripture. YMCAs in the United States and Canada use this logo. ...

Taylor Statten, a Boer War recruit who joined the Y.M.C.A. as a means of continuing his physical fitness activities upon military discharge, was driven by his ambition to design a proper boys’ work program with the Toronto Y.M.C.A., attending various national boys conferences. In 1912, Statten became the Boys’ Work Secretary on the national Y.M.C.A. executive. Borrowing from both Canadian and American Y.M.C.A. programs, and aspects of the Boy Scouts, Statten established the Canadian Standards Efficiency Training program, a system of graded tests where boys passed from one level to the next. These standards were borrowed from the "four-fold" philosophy of physical, mental, spiritual and social well-being. Boer guerrillas during the Second Boer War There were two Boer wars, one in 1880-81 and the second from October 11, 1899-1902 both between the British and the settlers of Dutch origin (called Boere, Afrikaners or Voortrekkers) in South Africa that put an end to the two independent... Jump to: navigation, search {{Hide = {{{Disable Motto Link}}}}} Motto: {{Unhide = {{{Disable Motto Link}}}}} Diversity Our Strength {{Canadian City/Location Image is:{{{Location Image Type}}}|[[Image:{{{Location Image}}}|thumbnail|center|250px|City of Toronto, Ontario, Canada location. ... Jump to: navigation, search Scouting is a worldwide youth organization. ...

Under the C.S.E.T. program came the Trail Rangers (boys 12 - 14) and Tuxis (ages 15 - 17). A similar program for girls known as the Canadian Girls in Training were formed a number of years later. The popularity of the C.S.E.T. program was such that boys’ work soon became a virtually separate movement within the Y.M.C.A.

In 1916 Statten made his great "Coast to Coast Tour" promoting the C.S.E.T. program, which included a stop in Vancouver, British Columbia. The seed was planted in B.C. It was on this tour that Statten first envisioned a national boys conference, modeled on various regional conferences promoting boys’ work. Statten believed in letting the boys determine their own priorities, and his idea soon developed into the concept of a boys’ Parliament. However, the national Boys’ Work Board considered this beyond their capability, at least during the Great War, which was being waged at the time. Fortunately, the Ontario B.W.B. was interested, and Statten organized the first Ontario Tuxis & Older Boys’ Parliament in 1917. Jump to: navigation, search Members of Parliament Libby Davies, Ujjal Dosanjh, David Emerson, Hedy Fry, Stephen Owen Members of the Legislative Assembly Gordon Campbell, David Chudnovsky, Adrian Dix, Colin Hansen, Jenny Kwan, Lorne Mayencourt, Wally Oppal, Gregor Robertson, Shane Simpson, Carole Taylor Mayor Larry Campbell City Manager Judy Rogers Governing... Jump to: navigation, search Motto: Splendor Sine Occasu (Splendour without diminishment) Other Canadian provinces and territories Capital Victoria Largest city Vancouver Lieutenant-Governor Iona Campagnolo Premier Gordon Campbell (BC Liberal) Area 944,735 km² (5th) • Land 925,186 km² • Water 19,549 km² (2. ... Jump to: navigation, search World War I was primarily a European conflict with many facets: immense human sacrifice, stalemate trench warfare, and the use of new, devastating weapons - tanks, aircraft, machineguns, and poison gas. ... Jump to: navigation, search Motto: Ut Incepit Fidelis Sic Permanet (Loyal she began, loyal she remains) Other Canadian provinces and territories Capital Toronto Largest city Toronto Lieutenant-Governor James K. Bartleman Premier Dalton McGuinty (Liberal) Area 1,076,395 km² (4th) • Land 917,741 km² • Water 158,654 km² (14. ...

Due to the program’s success, Statten encouraged the involvement of the churches, in order to reach even more boys in Canada. Various Protestant churches became involved, and a National Boys’ Work board was established with an executive body made up of Y.M.C.A. and church representatives. In 1921 an independent Boys’ Work Board was established, as the Y.M.C.A. preferred to take a lesser role in a movement that was diverting too much attention and resources from other Y programs. Jump to: navigation, search Protestantism is a movement within Christianity, representing a split from within the Roman Catholic Church during the mid-to-late Renaissance in Europe —a period known as the Protestant Reformation. ...

The first B.C. Older Boys’ Parliament was held in January 1924. The Premier was Walter S. Owen, who later became the Lieutenant Governor of B.C. (1973 - 1978). The new organization was donated its mace, which is still used today, by St. Andrews Presbyterian (now United), where Owen’s Tuxis group met. The Honourable Walter Stewart Owen, QC was Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia from 1973–1978. ... A Lieutenant Governor is a government official who is the subordinate or deputy of a Governor or Governor-General. ... This article needs cleanup. ... Presbyterianism is part of the Reformed churches family of denominations of Christian Protestantism based on the teachings of John Calvin which traces its institutional roots to the Scottish Reformation, especially as led by John Knox. ... St. ...

During the Great Depression, a number of serious issues faced the O.B.P. These included lower financial resources. The O.B.P.’s ability to use the Legislative Chambers of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia in the capital city of Victoria was threatened by those offended by the O.B.P. allowing oriental members to attend. Before World War II, the Older Boys’ Parliament decided to experiment with holding Session outside of Victoria. A proposed session under this plan in New Westminster in 1937 had to be cancelled. Another experiment was to hold the Older Boys’ Parliament biannually, with regional Parliaments in alternate years. It is certain this practice would have continued were it not for World War II. Jump to: navigation, search This article is about the worldwide economic crisis of the 1930s; for other uses of the term, see The Great Depression (disambiguation). ... Legislature Building in Victoria, BC The Legislative Assembly of British Columbia is located in Victoria. ... Jump to: navigation, search The arms of Victoria. ... Jump to: navigation, search World War II was a truly global conflict with many facets: immense human suffering, fierce indoctrinations, and the use of new, extremely devastating weapons such as the atom bomb. ... The Pattullo Bridge (centre) connects New Westminster (left) with Surrey (right) across the Fraser River. ...

While the 15th Session in 1939 prorogued with full intention of holding a Session in 1940, O.B.P. did not meet during World War II. By war’s end, the Tuxis movement had diminished and the National Boys’ Work Board was in a weak state of affairs. It took the Boys’ Work Secretary for the United Church, Rev. Robert McLaren, to revive the Older Boys’ Parliament. Through his efforts, the pre-war partners who sponsored Parliament (Protestant churches and Y.M.C.A.) joined forces to establish a Parliamentary Convention in Vancouver to rebuild the organization. It is in this period where the United Church began to have its greatest influence on O.B.P.

Delegates from around B.C. attended this conference, which expanded to include representatives of other boys’ groups such as Scouts and the Boys' Brigade. This expansion of O.B.P.’s base encouraged the boys to debate expanding it membership to include all religious denominations and boys’ groups in the O.B.P. and truly become a representative Parliament. This movement this was effectively quashed by McLaren and other church leaders. Jump to: navigation, search The Boys Brigade Modern Logo The Boys Brigade (BB) is an international non-denominational Christian youth organization. ...

The 1940s were an unstable period for the O.B.P., with a “senate” (as its sponsoring organization was called) existing in name only and a weak premier who had to be replaced soon after the 16th Session. Fortunately, key alumni and strong premiers with good cabinets carried O.B.P. through the late 1940s when a proper “Senate” and well founded Parliament were established.

It was during this period that the Older Boys’ Parliament was held in Vancouver. Only one session between 1945 and 1955 sat in the provincial legislature. Despite invitations from the government, organizers found it easier to plan sessions for the fledgling parliament in Vancouver, usually at the University of British Columbia in Union College (now the Vancouver School of Theology) or the U.B.C. Law School Building. Jump to: navigation, search The University of British Columbia (UBC) is a public university with its main campus located at Point Grey, in the University Endowment Lands, a suburb directly adjoining Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and another smaller campus known as UBC Okanagan located in Kelowna, British Columbia. ... The University of British Columbia Faculty of Law houses one of the largest English language legal programs in Canada. ...

In 1959 the O.B.P. created the Observers Program. The purpose of this program was to give potential members an idea of what O.B.P. did before joining, to provide a "sounding board" to members for feedback, and as a means of reducing high turnover in O.B.P. as becoming a member would become something to work for above observer status. Observers, aged 15 to 16, attended the entire session, and took part in all activities except sitting in the Legislative Chambers. The Observer program ended in 1973, at which time the Older Boys’ Parliament was transformed.

Since the 5th Session of the O.B.P., resolutions had been introduced to admit girls as members. By the 1960’s the Canadian Girls in Training efforts to participate in the Older Boys’ Parliament were taken up by the media, spearheaded by the Victoria Times newspaper columnist Elizabeth Forbes. By the late 60’s the issue was being taken more seriously by the O.B.P., but there was strong opposition from the “Senate”, which vetoed a resolution passed by the O.B.P. in 1971 to allow girls to join. Some of the "Older Boys’" who opposed admitting women went as far as to organize a separate "Older Girls’ Parliament" to meet during the Easter break. The Victoria Times-Colonist is a current daily newspaper in Victoria, British Columbia. ... Jump to: navigation, search Easter is the most important religious holiday of the Christian liturgical year, observed in March, April, or May to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, which Christians believe occurred after his death by crucifixion in AD 30-33 (see Good Friday). ...

With the election of the N.D.P. under Dave Barrett in the 1972 British Columbia general election, pressure came from the provincial government to open the membership of the Boys’ Parliament to all or face losing the use of the legislative buildings. Thus the B.C. Youth Parliament came into being for the 44th Session in 1974. The organization became non-denominational at the same time. The first female Premier was Susan Hunter of the 49th Session in 1977. Jump to: navigation, search The New Democratic Party of British Columbia is a social democratic political party in British Columbia, Canada. ... The 30th general election for the Province of British Columbia, Canada. ...

Also in 1974, the Youth Parliament of B.C. Alumni Association was formed and its board of directors are referred to as the “Senate”. The Senate ensures a session is held annually, reviews the legislation passed by the Youth Parliament, and when necessary assists the Youth Parliament in its community service programs and other events.

Developments in the 1980s saw Taylor Statten’s dreams of 1916 come to fruition with the formation of a National Youth Parliament in 1982. A Western Canada Youth Parliament was also formed during this time period. While the National Parliament has since collapsed, the W.C.Y.P. continues on a bi-annual basis.

A key event in Youth Parliament history was the "Vernon Conference" held in 1985, involving the B.C.Y.P., the Alberta Tuxis Youth Parliament, and the Junior Statesmen of America, as the Youth Parliament’s project to celebrate the U.N. International Year of the Youth. This conference was a new concept, and created a new path in Parliament’s development. This inspired new projects beyond community service projects and camps, with an attitude that more and larger projects were possible. Vernon City in the central region of British Columbia called Okanagan at the north end of Okanagan Lake and Kalamalka Lake. ... The Junior State of America, also known as Junior Statesmen of America and JSA, is the largest student-run organization in the United States. ... Jump to: navigation, search The United Nations, or UN, is an international organization established in 1945. ... International Youth Year (IYY) was held in 1985, to focus attention on issues of concern to and relating to youth. ...

As part of this new direction, a long standing goal, going back to similar projects in 1970, was the creation of the Regional Youth Parliaments program, which was to enable more young people to participate than the 80 or 90 youth who could attend the annual session in Victoria. The first Kootenay Youth Parliament was held as a pilot project in 1987, and was followed in 1988 by Regional Youth Parliaments held throughout the province, including the Thompson Okanagan Youth Parliament, the Pacific Northwest Youth Parliament, the Vancouver Island Youth Parliament, the North Shore Youth Parliament, the New Westminster Coquitlam Burnaby Youth Parliament, and the Vancouver Youth Parliament. Jump to: navigation, search Located off Canadas Pacific coast and part of the Canadian province of British Columbia Vancouver Island is, at 32,134 square kilometers (12,407 square miles), the largest island on the western side of the Americas. ... Coquitlam is a mid-sized city in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Canada, bordering the cities of Burnaby, New Westminster, Port Moody, and Port Coquitlam. ... Aerial view of Metrotown and central Burnaby from the south, with Burrard Inlet and North Vancouver beyond. ...

In the 1990s, with increasing costs of running B.C.Y.P.’s annual Session and holding Camp Phoenix, both the Senate and Youth Parliament became increasingly concerned with fundraising and the long-term financial health of the organization. Starting with a $5,000 bequest from Walter S. Owen, the Senate instituted a fundraising campaign between 1991 and 1993. The campaign raised $75,000 in donations from alumni, service organizations, and corporations. The Vancouver Foundation matched that amount, to establish the Walter S. Owen Fund.

At that same time, the B.C.Y.P. undertook new fundraising initiatives, such as holding a dinner-dance and "Dream Auction" in 1992. The auction subsequently evolved through various formats, to become a major annual fundraising event for Youth Parliament.

“Legislated” Projects and Programs

The Older Boys’ Parliament's purpose in its early years was to recommend changes and additions to the C.S.E.T. programme and to promote Christian boy life. Its legislation usually consisted of recommendations to the B.W.B. of B.C. rather than its own programmes, and occasional resolutions on social issues (such as temperance and school curricula).

During the 1950's, the Older Boys’ Parliament began to develop a more service oriented programme run by its own members rather than working with programmes run by other organizations (the exception to this being camps). Projects included annual hobby shows, athletic competitions, leadership training programmes, and work with handicapped youth.

The Older Boys' Parliament's social service programme expanded in the 1960's, with more work with the handicapped, delinquent boys, book drives, and food drives.

The O.B.P.'s project for Canada's Centennial was to help finance and build a church and meeting hall on a Nitinagt Indian Reserve on Vancouver Island. The Expo 67 site on le Sainte-H ne and le Notre-Dame The Canadian Centennial was a year long celebration held in 1967 when Canada celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation. ...

While camping had been a steady part of the Boys' Parliament program since its inception, the O.B.P. had always been involved in other organizations' camps, never our own. This changed in December 1967 when the 37th Session legislated Camp Phoenix. That first camp was held at Camp George Pringle with 36 underprivileged and handicapped boys.

In the 1980s, the Youth Parliament projects have expanded to include educational workshops, youth oriented conferences, and its Regional Youth Parliament program.

See also

The Honourable Walter Stewart Owen, QC was Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia from 1973–1978. ... A Lieutenant Governor is a government official who is the subordinate or deputy of a Governor or Governor-General. ... Jump to: navigation, search Motto: Splendor Sine Occasu (Splendour without diminishment) Other Canadian provinces and territories Capital Victoria Largest city Vancouver Lieutenant-Governor Iona Campagnolo Premier Gordon Campbell (BC Liberal) Area 944,735 km² (5th) • Land 925,186 km² • Water 19,549 km² (2. ... Jump to: navigation, search The Western Canada Youth Parliament (W.C.Y.P.) is a bi-annual event that brings together delegations from the British Columbia Youth Parliament (B.C.Y.P.), the TUXIS Parliament of Alberta, the Saskatchewan Youth Parliament and the Youth Parliament of Manitoba for a four...

External links

  • British Columbia Youth Parliament
  • TUXIS Parliament of Alberta
  • Junior State of America

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