Five Ballenas students (pictured here) won awards at the Shawnigan Lake School Model UN in Victoria in early April. They are, from left: Renata Kamel for Best Research Paper, Spencer Hancock for Outstanding Delegate, Devin Owpaluk for Best Delegate, Mia Murray for Best Research Paper, and Amanda Greenshields who got an honourable mention. — Submitted by Bruce Richman

Parksville students win awards at recent model UN

Students take on refugee question at B.C. Parliament

Students from across B.C. and one from New York State debated refugee issues on the floor of the Legislative Chamber in B.C. as part of the Shawnigan Lake School Model UN on April 6.

Ballenas Secondary School students were among those who took part in the debate, role-playing as actual MPs. Ballenas brought 23 students to Victoria to participate in the model UN, which saw 20 schools attend.

A variety of committees had students speak on topics such as the illicit organ trade, the legal status of recreational drugs, conflict in the South China Sea and immigration issues.

That last discussion took place in B.C. Parliament in the Legislative Chamber, where students pretended to be federal MPs trying to solve the problem of refugees coming to Canada from the U.S., as well as immigration issues in general.

Ballenas students took part in six of the committees at the model UN, with five students coming away with awards. They are:

Renata Kamel: Best Research Paper;

Spencer Hancock: Outstanding Delegate;

Devin Owpaluk: Best Delegate;

Mia Murray: Best Research Paper; and

Amanda Greenshields: Honourable Mention.

— NEWS Staff, Bruce Richman

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