Hon. Michèle Audette: Good afternoon, honourable senators.[Editor’s Note: Senator Audette spoke in Innu.]
Colleagues, I rise today to introduce you to my young guest. When I first met him, I thought he was 18, but no, he’s just 16 years old.
I met him on July 15, 2022, at a gathering about online safety held in Quebec City. It was such a pleasure to hear him speak, and I was especially honoured to meet him.
Jayden Paquet-Noiseux attended the meeting as a spokesperson for Children First Canada. I heard what he had to say and I admired his leadership. His contribution to the meeting was lauded not only by me, but also by other adults, other moms and other kokum. I knew right away that this young man would go far in life.
I was so impressed that I invited him, as I invite others every time I visit a primary or secondary school, or a university or college, to come and meet us in the Senate of Canada, since this chamber also belongs to them.
It finally happened on September 8, 2022. Jayden emailed me to ask if he could do a placement with me, which, of course, I accepted.
I was happy to know that, at 16 — he is in grade 11 — he is already very involved indeed. He is involved in his community. He is involved as a member of Children First Canada, known in French as Les enfants d’abord Canada, and he was also a member of the Young Canadians’ Parliament and the National Youth Advisory Panel.
He has already had the opportunity to introduce and debate bills, which is something I have not yet done. Bravo! He debated a bill on mental health and had media appearances on CBC Kids News, Radio-Canada and elsewhere. He was also the bilingual services coordinator for Children First Canada.
I would like to thank our colleague, Senator Moodie, for organizing a round table recently that Jayden participated in.
Guess what? Jayden is going to come study at the University of Ottawa. Jayden, I hope we will have the privilege of seeing you again, and I wish you all the best in your political science and communications studies.
When I was young, I dreamed of becoming a senator, and I hope to see you here one day. Tshinashkumitnau.
Some hon. members: Hear, hear!