A Gulf Islands Secondary School graduate led the 89th annual session of the British Columbia Youth Parliament in Victoria from Dec. 27 until Dec. 31.
The non-partisan organization gives B.C. youth a chance to bring about real change in their communities, as well as take part in the parliamentary process.
Sky Losier, who graduated from GISS in 2014, was elected Premier of BCYP last year by other members of the youth parliament. Losier grew up in the Gulf Islands, calling Mayne Island home. He attended GISS and Salt Spring Island Middle School in the French Immersion program. As premier, his duties include selecting cabinet ministers and managing the goings on throughout the year.
Aside from his duties as Premier of BCYP, Losier works with elected officials in their strategic communication departments.
“I really enjoy working to support people in elected office,” Losier said.
He is currently studying political science at the University of Victoria.
British Columbia Youth Parliament is different from other youth parliaments in that it is not a mock parliament. The decisions made during the session actually get carried out in the real world. The biggest impact the sessions have are for the six Regional Youth Parliaments that take place across the province throughout the year and organizing a yearly summer camp for children.
BCYP hopes to “empower our members to go out into communities and be change makers,” said Losier. “We want to empower them to give back to their communities.”
The group’s motto is “Youth serving youth.” They organize and fundraise for youth programs across the province. One of the main goals is to organize Regional Youth Parliaments that take place in six different parts of the province. These give youth aged 14-18 the chance to learn public speaking, the parliamentary process and to work together to improve their communities. They are held throughout the year in different parts of B.C. This year, the Islands Youth Parliament will be held at GISS from March 9 to 11.
The other main project that BCYP organizes is Camp Phoenix, a summer camp for children who otherwise would not be able to attend camp due to financial or social reasons.
BCYP meets every year when the legislative assembly is out for the holidays. Ninety-five people between the ages of 16 and 21 from across the province take part in the assembly.