Young ‘lawmakers’ set to take over LA

| 09/03/2018
CNS Local Life

Nick Hoffman of Harneys presents cheque to Youth Parliament participants (Photo by Jessica Jurgens)

(CNS Local Life): The Legislative Assembly will be composed of decidedly younger members when 19 students aged 14-19 take over proceedings Monday, 12 March for the 11th annual Youth Parliament. Organised by the local branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association to commemorate Commonwealth Day, this year’s event will feature debate on two topics chosen by the young people.

The matters to be discussed are being brought through private member motions. The first seeks to amend the Elections Law to mandate candidates reside in the districts they wish to represent. The second asks that the Education Law be amended to raise the compulsory school age from 17 to 18, and to reintroduce A-levels as compulsory under the Government education system, except in the Cayman Islands Further Education Centre.

“The students have been preparing well, trying to master parliamentary procedures and practices in the Cayman Islands LA as well as putting in the most time on their debates on these timely topics,” Youth Parliament committee chair Barbara Conolly said in a government press release. “I am very pleased with the topics they have chosen and look forward to passionate debates from both benches.”

The 10 girls and 9 boys are all in high school except for three studying at the University College of the Cayman Islands. All but four are participating for the first time.

Their trainers have included Leader of the Opposition Ezzard Miller and MLA and former minister Arden McLean, as well as Youth Parliament committee members MLAs Kenneth Bryan, David Wight and Conolly.

Law firm Harneys is the major sponsor for this year’s Youth Parliament, with partner Nick Hoffman saying: “Harneys is thrilled to be in the position to continue to support the local community and youth projects in particular.

“The next generation of parliamentarians will no doubt find its core in those who were selected to attend this scheme and the experience and knowledge of the Legislative Assembly gained will be invaluable. We look forward to watching each of the candidates progress in future years and wish them every success.”

Members of the public are invited to attend the event, and should be seated by 10:25am, with proceedings beginning five minutes later. During his planned remarks for the opening ceremony, Speaker McKeeva Bush will read out the Queen’s Commonwealth Day message. Conolly will also speak and Premier Alden McLaughlin will declare the Youth Parliament open.

The event is scheduled to run until 2:30pm, which includes a lunch break.

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Category: Youth

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