Increasing young people’s political participation is highlighted at the first Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Roadshow in CPA Canada Region   

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) has brought its youth engagement programme, the CPA Roadshow, to Canada for the first time at an event for university students in the Canadian capital city of Ottawa. The CPA Roadshows highlight the importance of encouraging youth engagement in the political process and the sharing of Commonwealth political values, especially with the 60% of the 2.4 billion population of the Commonwealth who are aged under 30. The CPA Roadshows also provided an opportunity to raise awareness of the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation in 2017 and the Commonwealth Summit due to be held in the UK in April 2018 on the theme of ‘Towards a Common Future’.

The Chair of the CPA Canada Federal Branch and Canada Federal Member of Parliament, Hon. Yasmin Ratansi, MP held an engaging CPA Roadshow session at Carleton University for students and alumni from the National Student Commonwealth Forum (NSCF), Carleton University and the University of Ottawa. The CPA Canada Chair was accompanied by Ms Lucy Pickles from the CPA Headquarters Secretariat who spoke about the work of the CPA and of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) in promoting gender equality.

The Chair of the CPA Canada Federal Branch, Hon. Yasmin Ratansi, MP said: “I am delighted to launch the first CPA Roadshow in the Canada Region during our 14th CPA Canadian Parliamentary Seminar.  The purpose of the CPA Roadshow for young people is to engage with Canadian university students on the values that unite the Commonwealth. The CPA's public engagement work across the Commonwealth in engaging young people in the democratic process by discussing the importance of the Commonwealth is a key objective and this first CPA Roadshow in Canada has emphasised these values.”

The CPA Roadshow was organised by the CPA Canada Federal Branch in partnership with the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) Ottawa Branch. Mr Gregory Evanik, President, the Royal Commonwealth Society of Ottawa said: “This CPA and RCS Ottawa event reaffirmed our joint commitment to developing youth in order to ensure an enlightened and prosperous future for both the Commonwealth and Canada. This commitment to youth has been a long-standing priority in Canada. RCS Ottawa with the CPA have run annually a major youth development programme for high school and university students since the second CHOGM held in Ottawa, Canada, in 1972. The CPA Canadian Branch, is the central partner with RCS Ottawa in developing leaders for the future of the Commonwealth within Canada. This model for partnership for youth is one which RCS Ottawa would be delighted to share with other Commonwealth countries and their CPA Branches in a spirit of collaboration and sustainability of our Commonwealth values.”

The CPA Roadshows provide an opportunity for young people to learn about the political values of the Commonwealth such as diversity, development and parliamentary democracy; to discuss issues of concern about the society in which they live; and to find out about the work of the CPA through their questions at the sessions. 
For information about the CPA Roadshows for young people click here to find out more.

Published Monday 23 October 2017.


The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), now in its 106th year with HM The Queen, Head of the Commonwealth as its Patron, exists to develop, promote and support Commonwealth Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff to identify benchmarks of good governance and to implement the enduring values of the Commonwealth. The CPA is an international community of Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures working together to deepen the Commonwealth’s commitment to the highest standards of democratic governance. 

The CPA represents more than 180 Parliaments and Legislatures in 52 Commonwealth countries and its network extends to over 17,000 Parliamentarians and Parliamentary staff. The CPA is the only Commonwealth organisation to represent national, state, provincial and territorial Parliaments and Legislatures. There are nine Regions of the CPA: Africa; Asia; Australia; British Islands and Mediterranean; Canada; Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic; India; Pacific; South-East Asia. Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) in Branches and Regions promote gender participation in Parliaments and CPA Small Branches represent more than 30 jurisdictions with populations of up to 500,000 people. 

Parliaments, their Members and officials learn from each other through CPA activities including: Annual Commonwealth Parliamentary Conferences and CPA Regional Conferences; a wide range of Parliamentary strengthening and Public Outreach Programmes; Interparliamentary visits; Parliamentary Seminars and Workshops; and Communications and Publications including The Parliamentarian, the Journal of Commonwealth Parliaments. 

For further information about the CPA, please contact: 

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
CPA Secretariat, Westminster House, 
Suite 700, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA, 
United Kingdom 
T: 44-20-7799-1460 
F: 44-20-7222-6073 
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