Reported by Michele Paulse
A Langara student and Air Cadets Warrant Officer recently had the opportunity to represent the Cadets by being in an audience for a youth panel discussing the future of Canada.
Kabir Dhillon, and two other Air Cadets, represented the Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron as part of the audience at the Experience Canada (EC) youth panel on September 24 in Victoria for the Royal Family visit. The panel was a part of EC’s Canada 150&Me, that recognizes the importance of youth for Canada’s 150th anniversary.
“It was a surreal experience,” said Dhillon. They discussed challenges and opportunities facing Canada’s youth, as well as a discussion about the environment. “The topic of the panel was how youth see Canada in the next 50 years and what the government can do to improve Canada,” said Kabir Dhillon.
Panel was made up of up-and-coming youth leaders
The panelists were: Leen Al Zaibak, co-founder and director of Jusoor, a Syrian youth agency, Aurelie Rivard a medal winner at the Rio Paralympic Games and Hjalmer Wenstob a First Nations carver. The other two Air Cadets in the audience were Chief Petty Officer Damian McCracken, and Warrant Officer Jalen Hall.
After the discussion, panellists and audience members attended a reception with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Prince William and Princess Kate.
Deborah Morrison, EC president and chief executive officer, said that the youth panel has been a project that they have been working on for a couple of years.
Young leaders get together to discuss issues
“We brought to the panel all of these great young leaders who are already active in the field,” said Morrison. “We wanted to do something special for Canada’s 150th and make sure youth were at the forefront of the celebrations.”
Charlene Hou, a Langara science student, believes the panel will contribute positively to the future of Canada. “The panel was a good idea. Youth are the future leaders,” she said.
Two more panels will be held before Canada Day 2017 and their next meeting will be in the spring.
“Running events like this is really important because it allows youth to connect with other like-minded people,” Dhillon said.