Middle schooler grills Harper

Grade 6 Student Convinces Mp to set up Meeting During Vancouver Visit

It's not often a middle school kid gets some face time with most powerful politician in the country.

It's even more rare for a youngster to ask the prime minister about his personal life and a question about the often-sticky issue of Canadian unity.

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For 11-year-old Tri-Cities student Daniel Dian, all he had to do was ask - sort of.

It all began a couple of weeks back, when the Grade 6 Scott Creek Middle student was gathering research on politics and public speaking for a contest, and needed a bit more information. So logically, he reached out to the local MP, James Moore.

The two met. During the conversation Daniel, who had taken a particular interest in politics about three years ago, suggested meeting Prime Minister Stephen Harper would help add to his research.

"I thought meeting the prime minster would give me a better idea on what to write," he told the Tri-Cities NOW.

Moore told the youngster he'd see what he could do.

Dian said he never thought his request would be granted.

But last week, as the prime minister was in Vancouver for a visit, the student got the call.

He would not only get to meet Harper, but could ask him a handful of questions too.

Harper was in Vancouver at a BC Chamber of Commerce event to tout a trade deal with South Korea.

Last Wednesday, in front of several dozen people assembled to hear the PM speak, the outgoing middle schooler got his chance to grill the leader.

"It was a shocking, but it was also exciting," he said of his 10 minutes with Harper in front of a crowd. "Lots of kids my age don't get to see the prime minister."

Daniel asked four questions, including one about Quebec sovereignty.

Specifically, he asked Harper how the separation of Quebec would affect Canada. Daniel said the prime minister told him federal politics shouldn't interfere with provincial politics.

He also queried the prime minister about his musical interests, the break-up of his band, and how he handles the stress of the job.

Daniel also received a little advice from the prime minister during their meeting.

He said Harper told him to make sure he speaks a lot of French, adding it's important to be bilingual.

The Tri-Cities student is already working on that recommendation, to become fluent in the language.

As he questioned the prime minister, his mom Sheila proudly stood by and watched.

She's not sure how or why her son has taken an interest in politics, but she doesn't mind.

"I'm very excited to support him in his interest," she said, also thanking Moore's office for setting the meeting up, doubting it would have happened if her son had just written a letter.

As for his own ambitions, Daniel gave a politician-like answer when asked about a future in politics.

"I'm still too young to decide," he said.

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