Recognizing Northview Heights Student Writers at City Council

Student's Visit I recognized the accomplishments of students from Northview Heights Secondary School at the City Council meeting on April 12, 2011. The students write for The Canadian Young Scientist Journal, a non-profit organization that provides a unique opportunity to high school students to publish their original research and innovative ideas across various disciplines. The students were accompanied by Sacha Noukhovitch, their teacher and editor of the Journal, to City Hall. The Mayor also came by to greet and congratulate them.

Below is the transcript of the speech I gave at City Council recognizing the students.

Thank you Madame Speaker,

It is an honour and a pleasure to pay tribute to, and welcome, the students from Ward 10’s Northview Heights Secondary School that write, edit and create The Canadian Young Scientist Journal.  They come here under the remarkable leadership of an educator at the school, Dr. Sacha Noukhovitch.   The most recent issue of the Journal has been delivered to all City Councillors and the Mayor.

It is in science that we reach toward things and happenings in our world that we try to understand.  It represents that earnest leap of discovery that makes our world safer, healthier and contributes to a modern prosperous country.  It helps answer age-old questions.

The Canadian Young Scientist Journal gives credence to the view that motivation does lead to innovation and that the written word will never go out of fashion.

When I leaf through the pages of this journal and the names of these young authors and thinkers leap off the page, I wonder which writers will one day bring to us great breakthroughs in medicine and health that we do not know about today.  Who will guide us through the next generation of space discovery; and who will ensure that the quality of life can be just as important as longevity.

These young minds with creative ideas – and the students who came before them – do more than pry open the unchartered world of science and discovery.  It is in the process of discovery that our democratic ideals have their foundation.  These freedom thinkers reaffirm the importance and remind us of the legacy of the gifts of Galileo and Copernicus, in which challenging conventional wisdom can ensure that when we speak we do so without recrimination, and it will secure for us the ideals that heresy can never make a comeback.  They affirm for us that science will always be a pillar of democracy.

A couple of years ago I accompanied some of the same young writers of this important publication to the Ontario legislature.   In that chamber where so many important decisions shaping this country have been made, representatives from all three political parties rose to pay tribute to these students and all they have achieved.

Fifteen years from now many of the students who have contributed to this publication will be in the workforce – putting concepts into practice; creating wealth; building better communities.    These young writers and thinkers become the new custodians of the science revolution.

Once again I thank all who contributed to the publication, the staff who made it happen and the leadership at Northview for creating an environment that fosters never ending thinking and the quest to discover.


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