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Political Week at UNBC

Almost 20 politicians at all levels of government are coming together at UNBC this week for a seven-event series focused on encouraging political engagement and productive discussion.

Three local UNBC students Micah Green, Mackenzie Kerr, and Laura Parent with the Conservative party, Green Party, and NDP respectively, have a common goal. While they may disagree wildly when it comes to policy decisions, all of them agree that there is a lack of (especially respectful) political discourse taking place both on campus, and in the world as a whole.

“We want to set an example about how to disagree in a productive and respectful manner,” says Kerr.

There are a number of ways that Political Week plans to do things differently in order to create productive discourse. One such event: What Conservatives (and everyone else) Get Wrong has a representative from four main federal parties talk about how their party’s world view and its implementation limits what they’re able to achieve. In other words, what their party gets fundamentally wrong. March 15, 6-8:30 p.m. Classroom 7-238

“Party politics is stronger in Canada than almost any other country, and while it can be a unifying, productive force, it can also push people to a place where they find it hard to be self-critical and recognize their own weaknesses,” says Micah Green.

Another event taking place throughout the week is a mock election where students vote for party policies without knowing which party they belong to. They hope to help students look past any bias or preconceived notions about what parties think.

One of the main events happening this week will be: Face to Face: Meet Your Politicians Up Close.

MPs Bob Zimmer and Todd Doherty, MLAs Shirley Bond and Mike Morris, Mayor Lynn Hall, city council, etc. are all going to be showing up at the university to mingle with and talk to students. Students are told if they’ve ever had any questions, comments, or things they’ve always wondered about local, provincial, or federal politics, this session is their chance to ask the people with the answers. March 12, 4-5:30 p.m. NUSC Space

Jason Morris will be giving a talk entitled: Tales from the Front: Put your Degree to Work in Ottawa. Morris has spent much of his career in politics, though never as a representative. He has worked as a campaign manager, debate coach; he’s drafted legislation, successfully sued a prime minister, and moe. He will bring all of his knowledge, entertaining stories, and advice to life as well as outline the steps you can take to have a successful career in politics. March 13, 2:30-3:30 Classroom 8-164.

Women in Politics: What it Took to Get Here and Why it Matters features Shirley Bond, Susan Scott, Cori Ramsay, Lois Boone, Jillian Merrick and others who discuss struggles that they’ve faced, how they’ve overcome them, and offer advice for other women interested in pursuing a political career. March 15, 1-2:30 p.m. Up Tempo Lounge (beside Canfor Theatre)

A Young and in Politics discussion will be held March 14 at 1 p.m. in the Senate Chambers.

“We are incredibly proud of what we’ve been able to put together for this year‘s political week,” says Green. “We believe that it will entertain people, demonstrate why becoming politically engaged is so important, and encourage productive discussion that can result in real growth and learning by people from all sides.

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