On Thursday, March 20, 2008, students at École Secondaire Beaumont Composite High School participated in a 40-minute videoconference with the Minister of the Environment, the Honourable John Baird. This videoconference, organized by Mike, gave students a unique opportunity to ask questions of the Environment Minister.
“My office received more than 40 letters from grade 10 students at the school, asking a variety of very well-researched questions relating to the environment,” said Mr. Lake. “It got me thinking about what I could do to get them the best answers. I talked to John, and he was very enthusiastic about the idea. What better source for their answers than a live conversation with the Environment Minister?”
And the questions were not easy ones either. “The students had some really great questions,” said Minister Baird, “and they really kept me on my toes. It was quite obvious how much time and research the students put into such an important issue as the environment.”
With topics ranging from greenhouse gas emissions to carbon markets, the videoconference highlighted the wide breadth of knowledge of the students. “I was very proud of them,” said their Social Studies teacher Mr. Deven Mehta. “They put a ton of effort into this project, and I believe they learned a great deal from it.”
During the course of the event, both Minister Baird and Mr. Lake also spoke about the importance of getting involved in the political process, and asking the tough questions of their elected representatives. “Even though most of these students are not yet old enough to vote, they already understand how important it is to educate themselves about the issues," Mr. Lake noted. "Hopefully, this experience will help them to become engaged in the political process at a time when Canada can really benefit from their fresh perspective.”