Winnipeg school board passed a plan for 16-year-old voters

Winnipeg school board passed a plan for 16-year-old voters, Vladimir Volenyuk

Couple weeks back, November 5th Mark Wasilyw, Trustee for the Winnipeg School Division said that for now, students have to live with the consequences of decisions they cannot influence on or affect the outcome.

According to recent polls and researches, those who voted once will vote again. However, if people will not start voting in their teens, chances are they’re never going to vote at all. So implementing the decision to exercise the citizens constitutional right to vote and express one's opinion by supporting a chosen candidate is a very important task of parents, family and of course the school.

That is why Wasilyw offers to lower the voting age to 16. It will not only give students a chance to control how their schools are going to be governed, but it also means that the electoral process can be a hands-on, structured part of the high school curriculum.

He said that this motion is to get the conversation started in Winnipeg. Mark Wasilyw hopes he can convince them this is a good idea and he needs their help to do it.

After his interview, community splits in a half. Some people support the idea of lowering the voting age to 16 and giving a right to vote for non-Canadian citizens. They say that it is not only fair, but it will teenagers a way to control how their schools are going to be controlled. Others oppose this idea stating that only adult Canadians should have a right to vote, afraid that it will reduce the weight of their own voice.

It was passed unanimously by the school board Wednesday.

“Ever since this has come up, I’ve heard from school trustees in Brandon and from St. James that they’re interested in doing similar motions in their school divisions,” said Wasilyw.

“I’ve been hearing that city councilors are going to be pursuing this at city hall.”

The next step is for the board to meet with Manitoba’s education minister to continue the process. This is a great initiative and it will bring great results for the future elections for our nation, as the study shows, those who voted in school are most likely to vote in the future every time. That means more Canada citizens will have in their mind the right idea about the elections, any elections and that is – every vote matters, every person should come and express their opinion.

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