Youth Given Back Seat,
But Take Centre Stage

By Jason Blackburn, Auburn Air youth journalist

Three student journalists were honoured to take part in last night's opening ceremonies. They took this unique opportunity to speak to the delegates and discuss such issues as youth action in the environment, youth influence on the decisions being made here. Among other special guests were Prime Minister, Jean Chrétien and the Deputy Prime Minister, the Honourable Shiela Copps. Copps introduced the young Canadians and emphasized the importance of their role at this congress

According to Bruce Amos, Director, Parks Establishment branch, Canadain Heritage, "the youth involvement last night gave the ceremony energy and added a human touch," he continued to say that, " It reminded everyone that the youth and future generations are the ones who are going to inherit the earth and it reminded us that the young people are actively involved and committed.

On the other hand, when the other 18 student journalists arrived at the event last night their press badges, which were the same as adult press badges, weren't recognized and they weren't able to get in until an adult journalist lied, saying, "it's okay, they're with me." Once admitted, they were told that row "Z" was reserved for them. One of the student journalists taking part in the actual ceremony , Denise Campbell found out later what had happened to her colleagues, she said that, " How the rest of the youth team was treated at the ceremonies was hypocritical. You can't hail the importance of our involvement and then push our youth into the back seat. It makes what the three of us did on stage that much more vital. The adults needed to see the legitimacy so we can be treated with respect.