The next generation: learning the importance of voting

Elementary students are the future majority of voters. Through the Civix Student Vote 2019, Regina students are given the chance to learn how to vote in a mock federal election.
Photo by Paige Reimer

The Civix program provides schools with an opportunity to simulate a federal election for students. This program, Student Votes 2019, gives them an opportunity to learn first-hand about Canadian politics.

The Prairie Sky School took part in the mock election for the first time on Oct. 17; 30 students in grades 4-8 learned what it is like to vote in a federal election.

The Civix program that works with Elections Canada, provides free resources for schools to partake in a federal election.

The teacher who organized this election at the Prairie Sky School, Peter Steele, prepared his students throughout the school year for this election. He invited political representatives in the Regina-Lewvan area to speak to his students about their party’s platforms.

Steele believes this opportunity is important for students and prepares this future generation to someday vote in a real election.
“It’s important so people aren’t ignorant through the democratic practice when they are called on to participate in it when they turn 18,” said Steele.

Steele was surprised at how involved the students were in the preceding’s of the federal election.

“The students made their own choices and came to their own conclusions … they are a lot more interested in it than I originally thought,” said Steele.

Jill Labas, a Campion Collegiate business teacher, held mock elections at her school. Like Prairie Sky School and many other across Regina, she also took advantage of the Civix Student Votes 2019 program. She had her students debate the different party platforms and even had students running the polling stations in the school.

“It teaches students about the process and to not be afraid of what happens when they are old enough to vote,” said Labas.
She wants her students to be informed about politics.

“Their voices do matter and maybe because of this they will get involved in government in the future,” said Labas.

Stats Canada documents that there are just under two million children 6-14 in the 2017 Canadian Census.

The Civix Student Votes 2019 program focuses on teaching this next generation of voters what they need to know to take part in a real election. The Student Vote 2019 website reports that one million of this generation votes in these mock elections across Canada.

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