“Canada at 150”: Justin Trudeau and Anthony Di Carlo speak at Rosemount High School on March 12th, 2010

Rosemount High School was a truly amazing experience for Justin and I. We were welcomed with various performances by the school’s well-recognized orchestra, “Symphonic Winds” who performed, “O Canada” while the rest of us sang along. Rosemount Hish School was special to me since I used to have quite a few friends who went to that school. For example, my first ever girlfriend was from Rosemount High School and I remember that our first date was on October 30th, 1995. I will never forget that day since it was the night of the Quebec Referendum and while everyone across the country were glued to their radios and televisions following the developments, I was walking around Beaver Lake on the Mont-Royal embracing the moment (until I arrived home later that night). The students asked well-researched bilingual questions and Justin had a great time answering them. We would like to thank Demetra Droutsas, James Fequet, Anthony Scozzari, Father Westphal and all the students, teachers and staff that helped make that day so memorable. Thank you!

Rosemount High School speech of March 12th, 2010 (Part 1)

Rosemount High School speech of March 12th, 2010 (Part 2)

Rosemount High School speech of March 12th, 2010 (Part 3)

Rosemount High School speech of March 12th, 2010 (Part 4)

Rosemount High School students – Proposal 1
Everywhere you look, people are worried about jobs. Parents constantly encourage their children to aim for high-level jobs. Unemployment is up in some regions while labor shortages surface in others. Job creation and preparation for future generations to live productive lives are two of the top concerns facing the workforce today. So what is there to do about it? Well, let’s look at the list.

Employment is essential in order to maintain our economy. We all know this. We are currently facing labor shortages, as well as an aging population. Education and higher learning is crucial for future careers, and if we don’t get our act together now, our economy and the lives of our society could be put in potential jeopardy. If we can find ways to solve these problems, we would have reassurances as well as a plan to keep the economy strong. In order to solve these labor shortages, I personally believe that unions should be strengthened and that government should retrain the unemployed to transfer workers to the areas experiencing labour shortages. This would cancel out the labor shortage and bring into place a sense of balance.

If we keep money flowing, our economy will be strong. In order to do this, we need to educate the youth demographic of our population and focus on getting them while they are young. After all, they will be the ones who will make up the future labour force and run the country once the current working population retires. In fact, we could potentially have our aging population teach our younger generation the hands-on information they need for their future employment. To keep the youth population interested, bring in more guest speakers. Really get children excited about new and interesting fields in law, medicine, construction, manual labor, culinary arts… Whatever will keep their interest. But focusing all the attention on specific occupations will drive them away, so sprinkle it subtly. Make sure you stress that there are no “undignified jobs”, and that any job is still a good job (as long as it contributes to the economy and society). To reiterate, pump money into the school systems and present these occupations as more than a means of getting money, but something truly interesting and they are likely to respond. Speaking strictly as youth, if you appeal to their interests that will garner results.

Another interesting theory as to why children show lack of interest in the workforce or higher education could be the lack of positive influences. A child with a terrible situation at home isn’t going to care whether or not he contributes to the economy and the workforce; he’s more holed up in his problems. It’s up to the teachers and mentors to really break through that barrier and identify with these kids. Once someone truly relates to a child, he instantaneously shows more respect. Through that respect, the child can then find some motivation to contribute. Government must therefore focus on assisting youth in these situations.

One possible solution is that Canada should raise the legal minimum age for dropping out to age 18. What this will do is force youth to complete at least a secondary education and decide afterward whether or not they wish to pursue higher learning (university, CEGEP in Quebec, etc.). Perhaps that extra bit of mandatory education could propel the youth high above mediocrity.

In conclusion, there are many things the government of Canada could be doing to preserving jobs and maintaining productivity for future generations, but the heart of the matter is education. If the youth is well-educated and truly engaged by the content of secondary courses, then there is a greater chance that the levels of productivity in Canada will remain or even raise by 2017.

Patrick, Julie, Megan, Alysia and Vicky (Rosemount HS)

Rosemount High School students – Proposal 2
The world of today is a very different place compared to past generations. We have progressed in these years. We must think of solutions to make our environment a better place and we need to know what has to be done today to allow Canada to progress further.

Canada should commit to a twenty percent greenhouse reduction and more ambitious targets by 2050. Canada should put a proper tax on carbon emissions by 2015. Canada also needs to help the natural environment because it’s very important and we need to secure it, at least most of what we currently enjoy. To keep ourselves healthy we should grow our own food and not have to look to different countries. We shouldn’t depend on fossil fuels. We should help farmers to produce better food for us to have a healthier diet. We need to better control chemicals and what there doing to our air and water. These are four ways we should help Canada progress by its 150th birthday.

There are many ways to strengthen our international relationships to enhance our national interest and quality of life such as becoming a very multicultural country which is very convenient because countries such as India, China, Russia and France to name a few prefer to do business with a country with people to which they can relate and a country with many citizens who may communicate with them fluently. To assure Canada’s global position for 2017, we much first help others as they will eventually return the favour in the near future.

What are Canadians doing to make a difference in the world today? After a devastating earthquake strikes Haiti, Prime Minister Harper announced that Canada will support the construction of a temporary government administrative base for the Haitian Government in Port-au-Prince. This action is a response to a formal request from Haiti for Canada’s help in establishing a secure area where government officials may work together, since most government buildings in Port-au-Prince have collapsed or are in critical condition. Canada was also one of the first countries on the ground after the earthquake. Since then we have been working overtime to do all we can to help people in need. Countless Canadians have generously donated millions dollars and willingly volunteered to help distribute food, bottle water and emergency supplies to name a few. We may build on that success story by donating to other causes we believe in, by lending a hand to elders in our own country, or by volunteering because a good deed may go a long way.

In conclusion, if we do what we have said in the above paragraph. Canada would be in a better situation. Therefore I believe that we could make Canada a better place by its 150th birthday, but we need the input and the help of everyone to make it a better place.

Victoria Spedaliere, Dang Duy Le & Stephanie Lovato (Rosemount HS)

Rosemount High School students – Proposal 3
Our economy and the overall success of our society, depends highly on our labour force which mainly pays all of the taxes and which provide social services. Due to Canada’s low birth rate, we have an increasing elderly population that needs these services. Canada’s senior population is expected to almost double from 2001 to 2021. At the same time, Canada is suffering from a recession. In some places there are high unemployment rate and in others, there is a lack of workers because they are all retiring. This is why we must take action now to solve these problems for the future.

• What impact does the fact that our population is aging have on the available jobs and the economy of today?

An economy is strongest when it has many workers that are paying taxes and therefore contributing to social services. Having a majority elderly population means that there are less people contributing to the system and more people taking from it. The elderly population is using more public services such as health care because of their old age. This creates a problem because we need the funds to support this large demand. There are already not enough workers in the health department since a great majority of them are retiring. Their retirement also puts a strain on the economy because it is usually a government program that is paying for it.

One thing that Canada is doing right now to replace these workers is letting skilled immigrants and their families come into the country. This will reduce the impact of such a loss of workers. In order to solve the economic effects this population is having on the economy, the government must find a way to incorporate them into the economic system. Also, since there will be more of a strain on our health care system, they should improve the services for seniors specifically. This means that we will have to fill in many jobs.

• What jobs will be in demand in the future?

Due to Canada’s aging population, many jobs will be available, which were once occupied by the older population. It is up to the younger generation to fill in those jobs. Employment growth is expected to be strongest in health, computer system design and professional services. Jobs such as: doctors, health aids, medical assistants and physician assistants will be in high demand. Labor demand is not only coming from new jobs being created through increased economic activity or new jobs requiring new workers; there are also a significant number of job openings created by retirements. The number of retirements in the Canadian economy is expected to rise markedly over the next decade. The vast majority of job openings over the period 2006-2015 will be due to the need to replace retired workers in existing jobs. It is expected that close to 3.8 million positions will be available due to retirements over the next ten years. Also in the construction field more jobs will need to be filled in the future due to retirement and an aging population. There is a lack of teachers due to the fact that they leave the province for better salaries and also because they get underpaid and overworked in this province. This results in a shortage of teachers at all levels hence, this is why they are part of the professions that are in demand.

• How can we decrease our rate of unemployment of today and for the future?

The best way to resolve this problem would be education. The more degrees you obtain, the more chances you have of getting a good job that you can have for long time. For our future generation we should try and encourage them to study, because usually people with education end up getting the jobs. We should try and work on our drop out rate, which is pretty high. If we manage to decrease the number of people dropping out of school, there won’t be many unemployed workers. Usually the ones that are unemployed are the unskilled workers that have no degree and they only depend on that certain job to raise their family. If they get sent home, the family is going to suffer. If we want to avoid going through things like that, people should have a goal and focus on their studies and they will end up succeeding in life. This way there will be less chance in the future for people to get unemployed.

To avoid unemployment presently, we need to open up more jobs that require skills not education. Many people are immigrants and chances are they are not all formally trained or educated, therefore if we have jobs that require skills of this sort many of these immigrants and people with no degrees will have jobs. The government should try their best to open up centres to develop required skills, because if these people are unemployed how are they supposed to pay their taxes and contribute to the system? They have to also raise their family and therefore their taxes should be reduced while working elsewhere, until they are trained for new fields.

• How can Canada encourage young ones to pursue higher education?

Canada is a well known and overall an incredible country. What makes Canada such a great country? This is a good question, and our education system is one of the reasons why. Throughout the past couple of years the quality of our education is seems to be on the decline. To get a better result in the future for Canada’s education system, Canada has to slowly start to encourage younger students to pursue higher education. The education for students should become less expensive for students all over Canada, because some provinces in Canada such as Ontario have an education system that is more expensive. School and education can become more universal, making education less stressful and more appealing. Increasing the use of modern technology can be introduced into the system; using internet to do research, digital projectors, smart boards, etc. Use of newer computers and programs can also be used. When choosing course selections for either elementary, high school or college; they should give students more freedom and more choices from which to choose. Courses such as home-economics can be provided to students. Courses that can teach students about what’s to come in the future or just to prepare them. More presentations, for instance, career explorations & career fair can be presented to the younger grades. The students can get a better idea of what they’d like to do or become in the future when they grow older. Providing more information and facts about the advantages of getting a higher education to students could also encourage them to pursue higher education, a fact such as: if you have more education, you get more money. Overall they could be more interactive with the newer technology, provide more choices, more information and more presentations. The students will be given more to work with, and in return be successful.

Belinda Ferreira, Felicia De Melo, Sara Palermo, Francis Millan, Linojan Parameswaran and Sean Rodi (Rosemount HS)

Rosemount High School students – Proposal 4
Canada is a rich country filled with raw materials. It has 25% of the world’s fresh water reserves and 35% of its land mass is cover by forest. It is also bordered by three oceans- Artic, Pacific and Atlantic oceans. By 2017, Canada can become a powerful, energy-wise, economically influential nation and even do things to be environmentally friendly, if we start to make the right choices.

Canada can become a clean energy leader by making more effective and contributing choices. It should encourage its citizens to use electricity only when it’s necessary. It should promote and increase demand for plug-in hybrid cars to reduce the amount of pollution. It must attract people by advertising and lowering the cost of plug-in hybrid, otherwise people will only buy the regular cars because they are cheaper. Wind energy is already the fastest growing renewable energy source in Canada and Canada also has 475 hydropower plants, this is the oldest and highly organized green industry in Canada. It can follow the idea of sustainable development. Canada has the ability and potential to become a clean energy leader.

Encouraging solar panel research and getting it to work effectively can be very advantageous. Creating solar panels might probably be the best way to control the link between energy, environmental sustainability and economic growth. Using solar panels during the day, and using electricity during the night, can pretty much save us a sizable amount of energy used today. This can surely be helpful to the nation environmentally since there will be less energy used than usual. It can also be beneficial in the economic fields if some useful instruments that people use often can be made with a solar panel feature.

In order to achieve the right energy mix in 2017, that will ensure environmental and economic benefits, first of all, we have to reduce the amount of gases into the atmosphere. The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty to achieve the goal of stable and declining greenhouse gas levels. We should adopt the requirement of Kyoto protocol, and reduce the emission of carbon dioxide, water vapour, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone in the earth’s atmosphere. We have some forms of energy such as biofuel, wind, solar power. All of these are an energy mix. They are needed to deliver and support a higher standard of living. For instance, crude oil is the basis for different forms of fuel, such as petro, aviation fuel, diesel, bunker oil. Primarily, shipping uses bunker oil to transport. Nowadays, BioOil could replace Bunker oil. BioOil is one type of energy mix and it has very good properties, steady flame and especially, it has a low emission profile.

Canada has the natural resources to become a clean energy leader. At the same time if we start combining the use of different types of renewable energy and natural resources and even solar panels, we can surely bring Canada to a better position in the world in 2017.

Debosree, Duyen, Kavisanth and Zaynab (Rosemount HS)

Rosemount High School students – Proposal 5
These days, during economic times, many families are struggling to manage their money effectively. Juggling childcare costs, aging parents, education costs and saving up for programs to help families financially already exist but is it often not enough. Families should have the maximum benefits from the government in this time of need to live decently and maybe in return make the economy better. To name a few, improving welfare and childcare benefits would help a lot. It’s not only the government that needs to help it’s also the parents themselves and take important decisions. Here are a few financial resources that are available to Canadian families and some ways that the government can assist them more.

Due to the fact that we are going through a recession, tax breaks are not likely. Tax breaks for “new” families would be very helpful, and useful to these families, who may be having financial difficulties due to the new-comer. The government, of course, would limit the amount of time for these breaks … They would not last forever. The biggest help of all, essentially, would be not only keeping better track of people’s taxes, and payments, but also cutting down on the useless “expenses”, such as building those concrete “chokes” on the streets of Montreal. This is wasting tax dollars, and not helping families at all.

Families in Canada may have issues with money, so their kids resort to doing other things to get money, for exampple selling drugs, stealing, etc. They may come from single family homes that might not have that much money and as a result of that they may have many problems. Usually the parents have unstable or low paying job and the parents and children don’t have the capacity to get higher education, they may have never finished high school or gotten into college or university because of the lack of money. The government can help by offering more jobs and making more opportunities accessible for these families. They can give cheaper courses that will prepare these families and allow them to find a better paying job or they could offer the family a loan while they study so that when they start working again they’ll be able to pay it off because of the government’s support.

In conclusion having a family is a very precious thing to have in today’s society that is why we try very hard to give our families, food, clothes and shelters. However with a little help from the government it can make it easier to raise a good healthy family by improving welfare and childcare benefits, by doing this families can save more money in order to put money away for their families in the future and keep our economies going.

Leslie, Sabrina C, Laura, Francesco, Andrew and Viraj (Rosemount HS)

Rosemount High School students – Proposal 6
Canada is a beautiful country with a bright future and it has lots of advantages compared to many other nations in the world. Many of us are envisioning how our nation will look in the future and how its economy will also change. In 2017, will Canada be a clean energy leader? Will we be able to harness the link between energy, environmental sustainability and economic growth? Will we have the right mix by 2017 that will benefit the economy? And what are the positive features of many of these challenges for Canadians?

It is important to consider whether our generation will have a cleaner environment and how we will compare to the United States and other nations in terms of health-care, pollution, safety and the state of the economy. Will we have more business opportunities so that our economy will continue to grow and create jobs is an important question. Some major challenges we may face may include natural disasters that can result from air, water and land pollution. If this is the case our economy will be affected negatively as well.

As a result, we need to think about what Canada will do to achieve the right and responsible energy mix by 2017. Canada should be helping the world not only by not polluting, but by donating funds, so that we can help others improve. This is important because in our society today pollution seems to be the biggest problem or concern. What we may do for our economy is to support our companies so that they can run better and help the environment by achieving a better energy mix.

So we need to ask, how do we harness the link between energy, environmental sustainability and economic growth? Energy is a big part of our economic growth, if we don’t have energy such as electricity our economy will struggle and we will loose companies to other countries. We need to look to renewable sources.

Balance of all three is critical to having a positive consequence in our country and our world. The weather is drastically changing. We need to start searching for better alternatives to support these problems not only in our country, but throughout the whole world. Children are the future, but they can’t lead until they are taught positive examples. Knowledge is not gained over night, it is passed down through generations and is bettered throughout the years. Set an example and people will follow. The world is ours, but we need to take care of it.

Kamina, Brian, Shamsheer, Sabrina, Tashin and Julien (Rosemount HS)

One Reply to ““Canada at 150”: Justin Trudeau and Anthony Di Carlo speak at Rosemount High School on March 12th, 2010”

Leave a Reply