OCTOBER 25, 2010

OTTAWA – Today, New Democrat MP Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe), tabled legislation inspired by the winners of the “Create Your Canada” competition in her riding.

“The ‘Create Your Canada’ competition was started two years ago by my colleague Nathan Cullen (Skeena-Bulkley Valley). It offers young people a voice in federal politics,” said Mathyssen. “Voter apathy and disengagement from the political process are major issues in this country. This competition addresses these issues by providing youth the opportunity to submit ideas for federal legislation, reconnecting them with the political process and providing them with a positive experience of our political system.”

This year’s competition winners, Hannah Deboer and Miranda Van Looyen from London District Christian Secondary School, joined Mathyssen in the House today to witness the tabling of their bill An Act to amend the Hazardous Products Act (plastic bags). Their bill, which was selected by a panel of community leaders would ban non-biodegradable plastic bags intended for single use.

“Canadians use 55 million plastic bags every week,” the students wrote in their proposal. “Of the millions of bags circulated, less than 1% is recycled. We should ban plastic bags from Canada, because they harm animals, cause pollution in our country, and use a very important non-renewable resource.”

“I am very pleased with the response Londoners have had to this competition. This is a non-partisan initiative that sought to empower and inspire youth of all political stripes,” said Mathyssen. “The faculty of London District Christian Secondary School and the greater community of London-Fanshawe are very proud of these two young women, as am I.”