Sacred Heart student delivers speech as part of national youth forum

Stephen Hickson inside the House of Commons

Stephen Hickson, a Grade 12 student at Sacred Heart Catholic High School, was a participant in last week’s Forum for Young Canadians.  He delivered a speech in front of his peers about public transit that we’ve included below.

The event brings high school students from across Canada together in Ottawa, for a week that included a Q&A with the Speaker of the House of Commons, watching Question Period, a dinner with MPs, workshops at Export Development Canada, breakfast with Senators and various group sessions revolving around elections and other political issues.

Hickson sits at Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair's desk in the House of Commons.
Hickson sits at Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair’s desk in the House of Commons.


Hickson’s economics and politics teacher Mark Morden suggested that he apply to participate in the event. He did, and found out he was accepted in January.

“The experience was amazing. Things that stood out we’re obviously multiple visits to Parliament Hill including the House of Commons,” says Hickson. “The visit to EDC was a pleasant surprise. There we participated in an international trade simulator where we had to negotiate terms for a health care deal between a Canadian manufacturer and an international hospital. I played the role of an EDC rep which meant that I was looking to benefit the most from loans and insurance deals. It was so interesting that I looked up EDC University Co-op opportunities for the future.”

Hickson is Co-Prime Minister of Sacred Heart along with Taylor Cavanagh. He says while he’s interested in politics, he doesn’t have any immediate plans to run for office.

“My view is that if you set out for politics from the start, you’re in it for the wrong reasons. My plan is to get a degree in either commerce or economics and then find a job in either the public or private sector. If I feel that I could make a difference in politics down the road, I’d be open to entering the field but I’m not setting out to become an MP,” he says.


Stephen Hickson’s speech on public transit, delivered last week at Library and Archives Canada.

When I look at today’s youth, I see a sense of uncertainty. Uncertainty to afford tuition, uncertainty to be able to find employment and even uncertainty to afford car insurance. These profound fiscal uncertainties are only some of the growing challenges facing the young adults of today.

There is a simple solution that can go a long way to making a difference. I stand before my colleagues to discuss the importance of public transit.
Public transit is an essential step in improving our nation’s economic efficiency while providing a viable and affordable alternative to car travel.
By allocating increased funding for municipal transit projects, the federal government is making a huge leap to reduce car congestion which will effectively limit carbon emissions.
By investing in public transit, the government is providing a pathway to community revitalization and opening new job opportunities for the youth and those in low income neighbourhoods.
Je crois que l’investissement dans le transport publique est un investissement crucial pour le Canada qui nous sera bénéfique pour les années à venir.
Thank you, Merci.
Stephen Hickson delivers his speech at Library & Archives Canada as part of the Forum for Young Canadians
Stephen Hickson delivers his speech at Library & Archives Canada as part of the Forum for Young Canadians

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