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Calgary MP to present student-led petition to Parliament

By Tina Shaygan, September 19 2017 —

Calgary-Confederation Member of Parliament Len Webber will be presenting a petition initiated by University of Calgary students to Parliament. Members of ONE UCalgary, a club created in February 2017, started the petition and gathered signatures to present to Webber earlier this fall. The petition calls for the federal government to double its funding for women and girls’ global education.

Jeenan Kaiser, a fourth-year U of C health sciences student, founded the ONE UCalgary chapter. ONE is a global advocacy organization with the mission of ending extreme poverty around the world, particularly in Africa.

“Over the summer we’ve been collecting signatures from not only students and faculty around campus but also around the community,” Kaiser said. “We encouraged people to sign the petition and write individual letters to Len Webber explaining why they support our campaign.”

Kaiser said Canada should more actively support girls’ education on a global scale.

“We aren’t doing as much as we possibly can as a developed country,” said Kaiser. “We want the funding to double by 2020. ”

Webber said he was approached by U of C students over the summer with this petition. Impressed by their work, he agreed to present it to Parliament in the next session.

“It shows the government that people in Calgary-Confederation and people that attend U of C support the government investing more money into this cause,” Webber said.

Webber added that he also cares deeply about the cause because of stories shared with him from his daughter — and former Students’ Union president — Lauren Webber, who now works with the United Nations in Africa.

“She’s shared many stories with me of the lack of education opportunities. I felt that if there is anything we can do as Canadians to help out with education side of things, I’m in full support of that,” he said.

Webber said that if students want to discuss issues impacting them that are within federal jurisdiction, he is available for meetings on weekends or when he is not in session in Ottawa.

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