Some Grade 12 students at a Coquitlam high school got a virtual visit this week from the Prime Minister of Canada.
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau spent time online with several graduating students at Gleneagle secondary, wishing them well as they leave the school in June — without the usual fanfare in a non-pandemic year.
The video conference was set up by Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam Liberal MP Ron McKinnon, who is running for re-election in the federal election that’s expected to be called by Trudeau for this fall.
During their chat, the prime minister and students spoke about the impacts of the COVID-19 lockdown on their convocation and grad dinner/dance as well as their school community. They also touched on mental health, leadership and the future for young Canadians.
The PM’s visit lifted the students’ spirits, with one participant writing on Facebook, in part, “I never thought I would be able to talk with the Prime Minister ever in my life, but it happened, and it wasn’t anything like a political speech but, during the call, he was a leader, a teacher, a mentor, and a listener for my questions.”
In a press release, issued Wednesday, Trudeau responded, “Through the challenges of this past year, all Canadians have shown resilience and strength — but none more so than students and young people. They've missed important milestones, adapted to a school year like no other, and sacrificed so much to help keep others safe and healthy.”
Meanwhile, many School District 43 parent groups are now fundraising for the 2021 grad virtual events and gift bags:
• Terry Fox secondary launched an online shopping page this month on Facebook, and has a deal with Me ’n Eds in Port Coquitlam on May 13 where 20% of sales will go to the school if “Terry Fox Grad” is mentioned