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Guide

Parliament in Motion

Read the book
Read the Book

You are never too young to get involved—the contributions you make today will help shape decisions made in the future.

A Living Parliament

Parliament is always evolving to meet the changing needs of Canadians. When the Canadian Parliament was first formed in 1867, there were 72 Senators and 181 Members in the House of Commons. The concerns of parliamentarians and the Canadian people included the expansion of Canada and the construction of an intercontinental railway. Today, because Canada is much bigger, there are 105 Senators and 338 Members in the House of Commons. The issues and concerns of today are quite different than they used to be!

How Does Parliament Change to Keep Up with the Needs of Canadians?

Canadians’ values are influenced by events and issues at local, national and international levels. Parliament is influenced by the views of Canadians, and as a result every Parliament creates new laws and alters existing ones. The way the courts interpret these laws also changes over time. This makes our system very flexible and able to adapt to changes as they occur.

Getting Involved in Democracy

When people think of participating in the democratic process, the first thing that usually comes to mind is voting in an election. However, this is just one of many ways in which you can get involved. Participation begins with simple actions such as taking an interest in what’s happening in your community, or forming your own opinion about a particular topic or issue and then doing something about it. Take a look at the list below for more ways to get involved.

Community

  • Help a community association.
  • Volunteer for the board of your local library, school or community centre.
  • Arrange a visit to your local legislature or city hall, or a constituency office in your riding.

School

  • Join your student council.
  • Participate in a mock Parliament.

Political party

  • Help with an election campaign.
  • Get information from, and attend events organized by, a party’s youth wing.

Online

  • Start a blog about an issue that concerns you.
  • Add your name to an online petition.
  • Join a group on Facebook that shares your political views.