Experience in the House inspiring for KRHS student

Stephen Brun
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BEDEQUE - It's not common to want to be elected Opposition leader in the P.E.I. legislature.
But even though Bedeque's Caitlin Kimmet isn't a political figure, that's exactly what she asked for last weekend.

BEDEQUE - It's not common to want to be elected Opposition leader in the P.E.I. legislature.
But even though Bedeque's Caitlin Kimmet isn't a political figure, that's exactly what she asked for last weekend.
The 17-year-old Kinkora Regional High School student participated in the 22nd Rotary Youth Parliament last Friday and Saturday at Province House.
"I like to keep up on the news and politics but I'm by no means an expert," Kimmet said. "I wanted to be with the Opposition because they get to hold government accountable for everything they do."
The Grade 12 student was among 28 Island students to participate in the mock legislative assembly.
The students split into two groups and decided on topics in advance of the event. The governing party gets one more seat than the Opposition, meaning they can often win the vote.
This year's parliament included debates on public transit, tobacco access, school closures and tourism.
Kimmet's group managed to pass a controversial resolution to legalize marijuana. They also persuaded the "government" to add the cancer drug Avastin to the Provincial Drug Formulary.
While none of the resolutions are binding, Kimmet hopes current leaders will take heed of the opinions of tomorrow's voters.
"I'd like to think we could influence the government a little," she said. "The truth is, we can talk about money being an issue for these things, but most of us don't actually have a grasp of how a budget works."
That's something Kimmet hopes to change, at least for herself.
She said the youth parliament experience inspired her to learn more about some of the subjects and to be more actively engaged in politics in the future.
"They told us the best thing we could do is get involved and join one of the parties. I'm not currently aligned with anyone and I don't know if I'd want to be a politician," she said. "But it gave me further incentive to pursue some courses in politics. I would like to learn a lot more before I dive in head first."

sbrun@journalpioneer.com

Organizations: Kinkora Regional High School, Province House

Geographic location: P.E.I.

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