VICTORIA, Nov. 12, 2014 /CNW/ - Over 25,000 students will head to the polls this week as part of the first ever Student Vote BC local government elections program.
Student Vote is an experiential civic education program that helps young people under the voting age learn about democracy and voting. The purpose is to provide young Canadians with an opportunity to experience the electoral process firsthand and practice the habits of informed and engaged citizenship.
On November 13 and 14, students will take the roles of election officials and host a Student Vote Day where students will vote for the official candidates running in their municipality or regional district. Their vote follows a series of instruction and activities focused on local government, research into the candidates and local issues, as well as dialogue with family and friends.
The program is free for schools, and is funded by the Government of British Columbia, the Government of Canada, the Vancouver Foundation, the British Columbia Teachers' Federation and Elections BC. CivicInfo BC has also provided in-kind support for this program.
More than 400 elementary and secondary schools have registered to participate from 103 municipalities and regional districts. Participation extends across the province, from Fort St. John to Fernie, and includes 46 schools in Surrey, 39 schools in Vancouver, 17 schools in Burnaby and 13 schools each in Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Kelowna and Langley, and 12 schools in Coquitlam.
Coralee Oakes, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development:
"For our democracy to remain strong, we need to encourage young British Columbians to take an interest in community and civic engagement. CIVIX has a successful track record helping B.C. youth learn more about provincial elections. Now we have a great opportunity for students to experience local government elections in their community through a positive, in-depth educational program that will help foster life-long participation in the democratic process."
Taylor Gunn, President and CEO of CIVIX Canada:
"CIVIX is delighted to expand our Student Vote program to the local government level in British Columbia. The enthusiasm from schools has been fantastic and we would like to thank all of the teachers who made democracy and citizenship education a priority this fall."
The results of the Student Vote elections will be released following the close of voting on November 15.
Student Vote is the flagship program of CIVIX, a national charity building the capacity and commitment of young Canadians participate in their democracy. CIVIX has organized Student Vote projects in B.C. during the previous four federal and three provincial elections.
For further information: To speak to participating teachers or students, or capture Student Vote Day in your local schools, please contact Dan Allan at [email protected] or 1-866-488-8775.