January 13th, 2017
Dressed in the traditional uniform of black robes and a tricorne hat, the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, shared his knowledge and experience with a Grade 5 social studies class.
“I think kids at this age are prepared to start learning about the political system, and not necessarily politics. They want to know how the system works, how we get our roads, hospitals, education, etcetera,” said Levac.
Democracy can be a difficult subject for young Grade 5’s to learn, but the students’ eyes were glued to the front of the room. Levac described how the speaker’s role and wardrobe evolved throughout time, gave details of the responsibilities of the role are today, and the duties the speaker is in charge of even when the Ontario Legislature is out of session including hosting honourable guests such as Prince Harry when he visited Ontario on official duty.
Did you know? The Speaker of the House does not represent a government party, but rather represents the people of Ontario. If a vote was tied and went to third reading, the Speaker of the House votes. However, because they represent Ontario residents, they votes against the bill – the speaker does not make law.
The students were eager to learn more from the Speaker and asked many questions: Have you ever asked someone to leave the chamber? Do you ever get nervous during debates and being at the front of the room? What is the hardest part of your job? In the 14th century, would you want to be the speaker of British parliament, why or why not?
“We are extremely fortunate to have Mr. Levac take time out of his day to further enrich the learning of our students,” said Mr. Laurente, Hillcrest PS principal.