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The Hon. Joan  Fraser, B.A. Senator Joan Fraser is well-known to Canadians as a journalist and commentator. Appointed to the Senate on September 17, 1998, by the Rt. Honourable Jean Chrétien, Senator Joan Fraser represents the province of Quebec and the Senatorial Division of De Lorimier.

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Senate committee engages youth in energy discussions

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Posted on 03 April 2012

OTTAWA (April 3, 2012) - The Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and National Resources (ENEV) will hear from a group of four Canadian high school students during a roundtable discussion in Ottawa today, Tuesday, April 3, 2012, as part of its long-term study examining the current and future state of Canada’s energy systems.

The students’ presentation to the Senate committee will speak to the youth perspective on what Canada’s energy future should look like. This youth-focused meeting format reflects how the ENEV Committee is continually finding new ways to engage with Canadians.

“We are delighted to welcome these student representatives to our committee and congratulate the Centre for Global Education for providing us with the opportunity to learn from these engaged young Canadians,” said Senator David Angus, chair of the committee. “When it comes to our energy, we face complex challenges and today’s appearance is a poignant reminder that future generations of Canadians are counting on us to get it right. I offer my sincere congratulations to Senator Grant Mitchell, the committee’s deputy chair, who is the driving force behind this creative initiative.”

“Since embarking on our long term study on the future of Canada’s energy systems, we have had the opportunity to hear from energy sector experts, government leaders and policy makers, aboriginal and industry leaders, environmental organizations and concerned citizens from every corner of the country,” said Senator Mitchell. “Given that our youth will soon be our future, it only makes sense that the committee also hear from young Canadians about their vision for Canada’s energy systems.”

The four students appearing before the committee represent over 400 students and six high schools from across the country that have come together to discuss sustainable energy in Canada – an initiative organized by the Centre for Global Education in Edmonton. Their presentation to the Senate committee is the culmination of the National Virtual Youth Town Hall project on the Future of Sustainable Energy in Canada.

“The objective of the project is to have students understand the Canadian energy system and to recognize key issues that policy makers face,” said Terry Godwaldt, International Coordinator, The Centre for Global Education at Queen Elizabeth High School Edmonton, AB. “ Over the last six weeks, students from across the country have collectively spent over 4000 hours analyzing data, participating in weekly web conferences, engaging in group discussions through various social media channels and planning and executing a virtual youth town hall.”

“This initiative is an archetype of the future of grassroots democracy,” said Senator Mitchell. “We look forward with great anticipation to hearing from the students and witnessing firsthand the result of true national youth engagement.”

Since June 2009, the Senate ENEV Committee has undertaken a comprehensive examination of Canada’s energy systems involving the participation of over 250 witnesses. This has included hearings in virtually every region of Canada. The purpose of the study is to make policy recommendations for a strategic policy framework designed to ensure an efficient and sustainable energy future for Canada.

The committee is now in the final stages of writing its report on Canada’s energy systems, which is scheduled for release in June 2012.

To learn more about the work of the committee, please visit: www.canadianenergyfuture.ca .

For up to the minute updates, follow the committee on Twitter @SCEENR_SAYS and use the hashtag #ENEV.


For more information:

Media Relations:
David Rodier
613-786-9945
david.rodier@hkstrategies.ca

Committee Clerk:
Lynn Gordon
613-991-3620
gordol@sen.parl.gc.ca

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