Students ready for pilot project

Local youth to make historic moment in federal election

By VERNA MURPHY, Connect Weekly

French Immersion students of Holy Trinity Catholic High School trained to work at the polls for Election Day. This will be the first time in Federal Election history where youth will partake in the process. PHOTO: Verna Murphy, Connect Weekly

French Immersion students of Holy Trinity Catholic High School trained to work at the polls for Election Day. This will be the first time in Federal Election history where youth will partake in the process. PHOTO: Verna Murphy, Connect Weekly

On October 3, 34 students at Holy Trinity Catholic High School gathered to do their training by Elections Canada to take part in a historical pilot project on Election Day.

The students are French Immersion students, and on Election Day, they will be staffing the polls at the school. They received the same training as everyone across the country and will be information officers, poll clerks, deputy returning officers and assistant deputy returning officers on that day.

Barb MacInnis MacNeil and Christie MacDonald are social studies teachers at Holy Trinity and the teacher advisors who will work with the students on Election Day. Both teachers took the training along with the students, and helped organize who was going to participate.

“The kids were really interested and all the positions were full right away,” said MacDonald during a break in the training.

“The kids were really interested and all the positions were full right away,” said MacDonald during a break in the training.

She went on to say how impressed she was at how curious the students were and how they seemed to be talking about the actual election process during their social classes.

While MacInnis said that having events like Student Vote, and talking about the election process in their classes, having the ability to actual participate like this really made the students more interested, and that even the teachers were learning about how the whole voting process works.

“It’s a more hands on way for them to learn, and I find that is always the best way for students to learn. They are nervous, and they are taking the jobs very seriously,” added MacInnis MacNeil.

Student Kaylin Lynett says she has always been passionate about politics, and she is very excited to be allowed to take part in working on Election Day.

“I hope that people go out to vote. I worked on mock-elections before, and have joined a political party, so this was the next thing that I wanted to do,” said Lynett.

“I hope that people go out to vote. I worked on mock-elections before, and have joined a political party, so this was the next thing that I wanted to do,” said Lynett.

Carly McMillan is another student who is participating and she said that she got her interest in politics from her dad.

“Until recently, I didn’t know too much about the different levels of government, so I think this will be a good learning experience,” said McMillan.

A few of the students will be working shorter shifts from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The majority of the students have committed to be there for the entire day, until after the polls close.

On October 19, Election polls are open in Fort McMurray from 7:30 a.m., until 7:30 p.m. To learn more about voting locations and much more, visit the Elections Canada website at www.elections.ca.

– Connect Weekly –