ISSofBC is raising the importance of the BC Election and parliamentary democracy through the newly developed BC Elections Education Project aimed at newcomers to Canada.

The resource will aid Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) teachers and settlement or youth workers in developing awareness among immigrants and refugees especially in light of the upcoming provincial election October 24.

“While permanent residents in Canada cannot vote in the current election, it is important they become familiar with the democratic process and voting so they can participate and make their voices heard when they eventually become Canadian citizens,” said Lisa Herrera, ISSofBC Lead Instructional Coordinator for LINC.

The resource consists of ready-made lessons with materials needed for delivery, as well as module plans, skill-building outlines, and Portfolio-Based Language Assessment tools for newcomers with English language proficiency at Canadian Language Benchmark levels four to eight.

Two topics are covered in the project. The BC Election Process and Voting Lesson Package provides newcomers with essential information needed to participate in a provincial election. A voting simulation activity provides participants with an opportunity to experience each step of the act of voting as if they were at a physical voting station.

The Parliamentary Democracy and the Role of MLAs Lesson Package gives newcomers a more in-depth understanding of the democratic process in BC, as well as the role of an MLA in representing constituents.

The two packages of core content lessons have been developed to be delivered either in 90 minutes or three hours.The 90-minute version can be delivered by an instructor in a language class or by a settlement or youth worker in a workshop setting and provides essential information on the two topics. The three-hour version is designed to be delivered by an instructor in a language class and provides additional or extension activities on the topics for more learning and practice.

The BC Elections Education Project was made possible through a grant from Elections BC and is available free of charge on the Elections BC website and also on ISSofBC’s website through Janis’ ESL webpage.

For more information, please contact Lisa Herrera at lisa.herrera@issbc.org.