Bike lanes and asbestos winning entries in Create Your Canadacontest

SMITHERS

Banning the export of asbestos from Canada and building bike lanes to encourage activity and reduce pollution are the winning entries in the Create Your Canada bill-writing contest, Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen announced today.

“The outstanding quality of entries made it tremendously difficult for our judges to narrow the field of over 100 submissions to just two winners,” Cullen said.

Cullen launched the Create Your Canada contest last fall with the support of School District 54 (Bulkley Valley).  Students in Grades 5-12 were challenged to write a piece of federal legislation to improve Canada.  Two winners will be flown to Ottawa to watch Cullen introduce their bills in Parliament this spring.

Grade 7 Muheim student Luke Santerno captured the junior category title (Grades 5-8) for his entry suggesting federal funds help build bike lanes across Canada.

In the senior category (Grades 9-12), Smithers Secondary Grade 10 students Hayley McDermid, Claire Hinchliffe and Chloe Staiger teamed up to propose a ban on asbestos exports from Canada.

Contest entries were judged by a panel of Bulkley Valley community leaders that included Smithers lawyer Tom Buri, School District 54 chair Les Kearns and superintendent Bev Young and Bulkley Valley Credit Union manager Dave Stene.  Senior retail, municipal and First Nations representatives were also consulted.

The purpose of the contest, which has garnered interest from educators across the country, is to encourage students to take interest in how Canada is governed.

“Students realized in working through their projects that individuals of any age can potentially make a huge difference in how Canada functions,” Cullen said.

Cullen noted this year’s winning entries touch on a number of issues relevant to Canadians everyday lives, including healthy lifestyles, climate change, strong families, improved federal infrastructure, and responsible federal development and humanitarian aid.