Westmount students look at Canada in 2070
Grade 10 history students offer a Canada they say we can appreciate
By Mark Newman Hamilton Mountain News
Twenty-two students at Westmount high school have posted a series of research papers they hope will help make Canada a better country in the years to come.
Called the Canada 2070 Initiative, the Grade 10 history students were challenged by teacher Paul Patterson to pick a topic they are passionate about with an eye to what they would like to see done over the next 52 years.
“Focus on something that really matters to you in the country and then dig deep … and find out what we’ve done wrong and done right and focus on a solution on how to make it better overall,” said 15-year-old Emily Mastromatteo, who looked at discrimination and focused on the First Nation’s rights and the plight of Canada’s Indigenous peoples.
Her paper recommends setting aside six seats in the House of Commons that would be elected by Indigenous voters.
The Canada 2070 Initiative includes five broad topics: social, political, cultural, economic and environmental.
Among the themes within those topics that the students looked at were: First Nations rights, discrimination in the LGBTQ community, feminism, the military and foreign relations.
Mastromatteo noted most of the students did online research for the project which began in September and concluded with the papers being posted at canada2070initiative.commons.hwdsb.on.ca in late January.
The papers include a historical context for the subject along with solutions and recommendations.
Fifteen-year-olds Sara Basal and Lydia Lister wrote a paper about immigrants and refugees facing poverty.
“It’s a very big problem nowadays,” Basal said. “We want people to open their eyes on this problem.”
The paper recommends the creation of a “community within a community” where newcomers can live, eat and work.
Mastromatteo said the students came away from the project much more aware of a variety of issues.
Patterson was impressed with the papers the students wrote.
“This project shows that our country is in very good hands moving forward,” he said. “All we have to do is listen to them.”