MPs to visit high school classrooms during Canada's Democracy Week

The 2014-15 Rep Day program begins today as part of Canada's Democracy Week.

TORONTO, Sept. 10, 2014 /CNW/ - CIVIX is coordinating Rep Days between Members of Parliament and high school classes, beginning today with Selkirk-Interlake MP James Bezan visiting Warren Collegiate in Warren, Manitoba. Rep Days have also been scheduled over the next week with Members of Parliament: Ralph Goodale, Ray Boughen, Geoff Regan, Leon Benoit and Nycole Turmel.

Rep Day is a civic education initiative that connects schools with their elected representative for a dialogue on government, the electoral process and issues that interest them. The program aims to help students develop a better understanding and sense of trust in the people and institutions within our democracy.

CIVIX is delivering Rep Day with support from Elections Canada and is delighted to launch the 2014-15 program during Canada's Democracy Week.

Canada's Democracy Week aims to connect Canadians with activities that celebrate our democratic values and traditions in communities across the country. The fourth annual Canada's Democracy Week runs from September 15-21 and will encourage Canadians, particularly young Canadians, to learn more about the importance of democracy and voting and to become more involved in the democratic process.

During the last school year, CIVIX coordinated 85 Rep Day visits with 66 Members of Parliament representing eight provinces and four political parties. The feedback from participants was very positive and CIVIX expects to expand the program this school year.

"I think it is a very valuable opportunity for young people to meet their representative in a small classroom setting. It puts a 'real face' on politics. It engages them in a way that a textbook or news clip cannot. And, ultimately, hopefully, it will encourage them to be more engaged citizens in their democracy in the future," says Diane Ballantyne, a teacher at Centre Wellington District High School in Fergus, Ontario.

The 2014-15 Rep Day program will run throughout the school year with visits coinciding with Parliamentary break weeks. Interested schools are invited to contact CIVIX to take part and receive free curriculum resources to help guide the visit.

About the Organization

CIVIX is Canada's leading civic education organization building the capacity and commitment of young Canadians to participate in their democracy. CIVIX programming focuses on elections, government budgets and representation.

Student Vote, the flagship program of CIVIX, is a parallel election for students under the voting age coinciding with official elections. In the 2011 federal election, more than 563,000 students cast a Student Vote ballot from nearly 3,750 schools throughout Canada.

SOURCE: CIVIX

For further information: For comment, please contact Taylor Gunn, President of CIVIX at taylor@civix.ca or 1-866-488-8775. For more information or to schedule a Rep Day visit in your classroom, please contact the CIVIX team at hello@civix.ca or 1-866-488-8775. For more information on Canada's Democracy Week, please visit www.democracy-democracy.ca or contact Elections Canada at 1-877-877-9515 or at democracy-democratie@elections.ca

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