Friday, August 3, 2018

Bronze Visioneers Participated in Mock Council Debate in Toronto City Hall

Joyce Shum Yan Yue
Bacala, Alexandra Rose Callanta

On 30th July, 2018, the Bronze Visioneers visited the Toronto City Hall and participated in the mock council debate activity organized by the Vision Youth Leadership Program. Franco Ng, who worked as an assistant of a city councilor, introduced to the Visioneers the history, management structure, and daily operation of City Hall, as well as sharing with them the jobs and responsibilities of a city councilor. After this visit, the youths learnt that it is possible for anybody to make changes in their city. Franco also hoped that they would be courageous to voice out their opinion and raise their enthusiasm in taking part in political events.

Apart from visiting the City Hall, the Visioneers were able to experience being a city councilor and the public that speak in the council by having a mock council debate. The topic for the debate was “Should the bike lane in Bloor Street be kept?” The youths were divided into 5 groups and each group took one role in the debate. The 5 roles included cyclists that support keeping the bike lane, residents living near Bloor Street who are either for or against the bike lane, and restaurants and shop representatives that are for or against the bike lane. Franco and other counsellors took the role of the mayor and city councilors, who asked questions regarding the arguments made by each team as well as ensuring that the council meeting was held solemnly and smoothly.  Rationality and creativity were shown in the speech made by each team and they were able to consider the issue from different perspectives. While making a brilliant speech may put one’s stance in an advantageous position, being able to answer the questions raised by councilors with statistics and information can as well make one’s arguments more persuasive, which is more likely to receive more votes from the councilors.

In this mock council debate, more than 2 hours were spent in discussing the motion of keeping the bike lane in the mock debate. In reality, councilors are facing mounting pressure as they need to deal with different opinions and proposals from the public of 44 districts. Nevertheless, after experiencing this mock council debate, Visioneers understood that politics is not a tedious topic to study. Instead, it is a major way to achieve one’s ambitions and make changes in their community. It is hoped that they would get involved in more political events in the future and bring new blood to the political sector.

Founded in 2001, Vision Youth Leadership Program is a non-profit organization that aims to help youths develop life skills, nurture their social skills, and prepare them for a successful future. Different from the traditional teaching approaches which educate them mainly through academic knowledge, Vision Youth emphasizes on exploring the potential of our participants, enhancing their social skills and organizing outdoor activities which allow them to stay close to nature.

Furthermore, Vision Youth provides a good learning experience for the participants, ensuring their communication skills, public speaking skills, leadership skills, interpersonal skills, collaboration skills and self-confidence can be strengthened. It is also our goal that students would understand and love nature better and that their social and political awareness, and personal responsibility can be raised after taking part in our program.

Vision Youth Leadership Program is now recruiting new participants for 2019. Students aged 14 or above in July 2019 are all welcome to join our program.
For more information about Vision Youth Leadership Program, please visit our website at, or Facebook page at, or email to, or contact us at 416-800-4040.

For more information about our past activities, feel free to visit our blog Blog posts in both Chinese and English version are available for readers.

「 展望」學員在多倫多市政廰參加模擬市政會議

Joyce Shum Yan Yue

2018730日,展望青年2018的銅章學員們來到多倫多市政廳,參加了半天的見習體驗活動。曾任市議員助理的吳家健(Franco Ng)向學員們介紹了市議會的結構,職責以及日常運作,亦向學員分享市議員的責任和日常工作的狀況。藉著參觀市政廳,他向學員們表示任何人都有改變這座城市的可能,亦期望他們能勇於表達自己的意見,積極參與政治活動。 
除了參觀,聽講外,學員們更是有幸體驗了一把作為議員和地區代表在議會中發言投票的滋味,切身了解議會的決策流程。這次模擬議會的辯論議題是應否在Bloor 街繼續設置自行車道。學員們分別扮演多倫多自行車道使用者、附近居民及Bloor 街的餐廳食肆代表,為己方的利益做辯護,而吳家健(Franco Ng)一眾展望青年的導師們則分別扮演議員及主席台的角色,根據學員的發言作出提問,同時確保會議嚴謹順利地進行。扮演群眾的學員們亦發揮了豐富的想象力,給自己設定了各種角色,從不同的角度出發詮釋支持或反對保留自行車道的理由。有時侯一個代表的精彩發言可以帶動議會的風向,使決策的天平偏向自己的一邊。能夠詳細地解答議員們的提問,並運用蒐集所得的數據及資料,亦有助增加言論的可信性,有利於自己所支持的立場。  
展望青年領袖培訓計劃(Vision Youth Leadership Program)成立於2001年。作為一個非營利性組織,其宗旨在於培訓青少年生活技能,培養社交能力,造就完美的心理素質以便將來更好地融入社會。不同於教育機構的教學模式,「展望青年」摒棄了給孩子灌輸知識的傳統教育方法,重在發展展望學員的潛能,寓教於樂,在接觸大自然的同時增長社交能力。
有關「展望青年領袖培訓計劃」的詳情請參閱「展望」網頁 或「展望」的Facebook專頁, 或電郵至 info@visionyouth.ca或致電416-800-4040跟我們聯絡。