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FORT ST. JOHN — Elementary school students in Fort St. John are a part of the 60,000 students across B.C. participating in the Student Vote program this week.

The Student Vote program by CIVIX allows students to gain experience and understanding of Canada’s political and voting process. The program culminates with a voting day where students can cast ballots for mayor, councillor, and school trustee. 

One of the 736 schools enrolled in the program for municipal elections across B.C. is Margaret “Ma” Murray Community School in Fort St. John. 

Principal Kathy Scheck says the program is a part of their curriculum for grades five and six. The students have been able to gain important experiences through the program, according to Scheck, such as having politicians Lilia Hansen and Dan Davies come in and speak. 

“I just think it’s really important for students to learn the process of being a citizen and knowing what your rights are as far as local, provincial, and federal government go,” Sheck said. 

Sheck believes that students learning and getting the experience to vote is important.

“The earlier we can help them with this process, the better for their understanding and future as voters.”

Ma Murray is one of seven schools in School District 60 participating in the program this year. The school is joined by Anne Roberts Young Elementary, Bert Ambrose Elementary, Charlie Lake Elementary, Duncan Cran Elementary, École Central Elementary School of the Arts, and the Northern BC Distance Education School.

The totals for the Vote Day elections will be released after the official number for the elections have been released.

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Katherine Caddel is a recent graduate of Laurentian University's English Media and Rhetoric program. They grew up in Northern Ontario and recently decided to make the North Peace their new home. When not at work, Katherine enjoys horror movies, playing video games and Dungeons and Dragons.