A plan for connecting kids with other parts of Canada

I have heard of this idea being done on a very small scale but I’d like to see at least 10 students from each town or city over 60,000 come and go in an exchange program for two to three weeks each year.

I’m not suggesting it be limited to Quebec, but as an example, I don’t know a word of French and we have four grandchildren who have gone through a French immersion program.

The idea would open the eyes of both eastern and western young Canadians, and would raise the dickens with a lot of separatists from the P.Q. and narrow-minded people and promote more understanding between us westerners and those ‘darn easterners’ (tongue-in-cheek – honest!)

I have another idea I’ve kicked around for many years. Issue a multi-province ‘passport’ good for one year only. Perhaps a second could be issued in following years. Here is how I think it should work.

A family of, for example, two children, mother and father gets a passport and travels from province A to province B, C and D spending not less than five days in each province.

In each province the family reports to a Member of Parliament’s constituency office to have their passport stamped.

When they get back home they apply for $25 per person per province (four people at $25 equals $100, times three provinces equals $300.)

Perhaps we should be looking at two or even three times that amount but I’m sure you get the idea.

The cost would be shared between Ottawa and each province. Those two kids just might grow up to be one of the few Canadians who realize what an MP is and that even if he or she isn’t a member of the ruling party they do have a role to play and that there are some good guys and not so good guys on both sides of the floor.

I could get off on the poor job we do at teaching our children about politics but that’s for another time.

Barry C. Lashmar

Red Deer

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