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Kingston Regional Fair
Peter Milliken - Je Regarde Bien
My project is about the Honourable Peter Milliken who was the longest serving Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands in Canadian history. He was also the longest serving Speaker of the House of Commons in Canada since Confederation. This project summarizes the role of the Member of Parliament and Speaker of the House of Commons and highlights the importance of these roles in helping Canadians express their thoughts and concerns about what is important to them as Canadians.
What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?
I learned that Peter Milliken was the longest serving Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands. He was also the longest serving Speaker of the House of Commons in Canadian history. It was a wonderful experience when Peter Milliken joined me at my home for dinner and an interview in early March, 2019. I learned many interesting facts about Peter Milliken’s life and about his contributions to Kingston and the Islands and to Canada. It was interesting listening to his stories and to his reflections about his career. I discovered that if you want to learn more about someone, it is important to just contact them directly, because people will share their experiences if you ask them.
What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?
"I learned the importance of the role of a Member of Parliament and the importance of the Speaker of the House of Commons in Canada. I would like to share with other Canadians that their Member of Parliament has a really important role in bringing people’s views forward to government and sharing concerns and issues that matter to the people in their region. It is important that all Canadians see that they have an equal opportunity and a fair process for sharing their concerns. Members of Parliament should be fair, unbiased, empathetic, and value all people’s concerns in their regions. I also learned that Canadians should know that the Speaker of the House has an important role in Canadian politics and history, as this person has many administrative, ceremonial, and diplomatic duties to make sure that parliament runs smoothly. A Speaker of the House should also be fair, unbiased, and knowledgeable on parliamentary procedures. The most important lesson that I learned is that when someone gets involved in Canadian politics, she or he can make a really significant impact on the lives of Canadians. We live in an era when diversity in Canada is very high and a career in politics can make a difference for many different voices and concerns to come forward in shaping our Canadian future."
How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?
Based on the conversations I had with Peter Milliken, it is clear that we both value strong personal and family connections. He had very supportive parents and siblings growing up and he values close friendships. Family values and close friendships are also very important to me. Peter Milliken and I are also similar in the way that we both observe and listen to conversations carefully. Peter Milliken’s motto on his Coat of Arms states: “Je Regarde Bien” which means, “I Look Carefully.” I believe that I also observe and reflect on situations carefully before I respond or react to a situation. We are also similar in our values in the power of women and youth in making positive contributions to politics in Canada. We differ in the way that technology has impacted our lives. Each day I am impacted by technology in my personal and school life. Technology and social media impact my perspectives on issues and in new ways that did not shape Peter Milliken’s perspectives. Overall, Peter Milliken and I are more similar than we are different.