Create Your Canada Winners Join Mathyssen in Ottawa for Introduction of Their Bill

LONDON – Students Hannah Deboer and Miranda Van Looyen want Canadians to stop using single use non-biodegradable plastic bags, and on Monday they will be in Ottawa to see that idea take a big step forward.

The winning submission was selected by a panel of community leaders as part of the “Create Your Canada” contest sponsored by MP Irene Mathyssen with partners /A\ London television and VIA Rail. On October 25th, the legislation drafted from the students proposal will be tabled by Mathyssen as a Private Member’s Bill in the House of Commons.

“We should ban plastic bags from Canada, because they harm animals, cause pollution in our country, and use a very important non-renewable resource,” the students wrote in their proposal.

In researching their idea the students discovered Canadians use 55 million shopping bags every week. For every bag used, less then 1% are recycled.

“Not only do these bags pollute our world they also litter the landscape. After we toss them into landfills the bags clutter our beaches, waterways, oceans, and parks,” the students said.

“Our contest received some very creative ideas and some proposals which could really improve the quality of life for Canadians,” says Mathyssen; “but, the environment was a recurring concern for many students. I think this sends a clear message that our students are concerned about the kind of world they want to inherit from us and that we are not doing enough to leave them the kind of world they deserve.”

Mathyssen also says the “Create Your Canada” contest offers young people a way to make their voices heard in parliament.

“So many of our youth today feel completely disconnected from the political process. By providing them an opportunity to submit ideas for legislation, I hope to encourage them to get involved in making the kind of change they want to see.”