Welcome to British Columbia Youth Parliament!
The Youth Parliament of BC Alumni Society (“Alumni Society”) is the sponsoring body of the BC Youth Parliament. The Alumni Society is an incorporated society under the Society Act of BC and is comprised of those who are former members of BCYP, or its predecessor the Older Boys Parliament. Any member of BCYP can become a member of the Alumni Society and continue to participate in the activities of the Society.
Each year at the Annual General Meeting the Alumni Society elects the Board of Directors known as the “Senate.” In addition to the 14 “Senators” the Premier sits as an ex officio Senator by virtue of their position as a representative of BCYP. The Senate and its activities are mandated by the Constitutions and Bylaws of the Alumni Society. Additional roles, responsibilities and relationships are detailed in the British Columbia Youth Parliament Act.
All of BCYP’s activities, including the activities of Regional Youth Parliaments (RYPs), are carried out under the umbrella of the Alumni Society and the Alumni Society is legally responsible for all of those activities. Because of this, the Senate reviews all the legislation passed by BCYP each year. When it reviews BCYP’s legislation, the Senate has the authority to disallow or reserve portions of legislation. For example, legislation will be disallowed if, in the opinion of the Senate, the legislation puts an unacceptable risk to the Society, members, participants or the reputation of BCYP. Through the Regional Youth Parliament Management Committee, Senate (with Cabinet) oversees the legislation of RYPs.
Throughout BCYP’s year of activity, the Senate reviews and monitors BCYP’s projects which are reported on by the Premier and other Cabinet Ministers at Senate meetings which occur approximately every two months. The Senators act as mentors to cabinet ministers to assist them, through advice and encouragement, to help Parliament reach its goals for the year. A Senate-Parliament joint committee, the Camp Steering Committee, monitors and manages the risks of Camp Phoenix. Senate’s Risk Management Committee examines particular developments or new risks and establishes policies for BCYP and the Senate to respond. A recent example of this includes updating BCYP and Senate policies for criminal record checks for volunteers at Session and at Parliament-run events.
In addition to these ongoing roles, the Senate is responsible for the organization of the annual parliamentary session. The Executive Director, Registrar, and Chief Returning Officer arrange for the use of the legislature, the visit to Government House, the recruitment, acceptance, transportation, accommodation and supervision of members, and many other matters with the assistance of other Senators and Alumni. The Vice-Chair co-ordinates the selection of the Parliamentary awards recipients. The Senate also considers and approves revisions to the Standing Orders.
From time to time the Senate also organizes events for alumni, including celebrations of anniversary years such as the 75th Jubilee, 100 Years Young Celebration, and the 85th Session of the Sticky Wicket Youth Parliament. The Alumni Affairs Director publishes The Speaker electronic newsletter several times each year to advise the alumni of developments on the Senate and in BCYP.
Senate meetings occur every two months during the year. The Senate meetings are open to all members of BCYP and the Alumni Society to observe and voice their opinions. If you would like to attend please contact the Premier or the Chair of Senate for more details about when they occur.
Senators are volunteers who generously give their time and expertise to help BCYP fulfill its motto. We look forward to meeting our fellow alumni (that’s you!), and seeing your contributions to this wonderful organization.