Canada’s national MLAs may have the holidays off, but the Saskatchewan legislature is still full this week.

The 76th youth parliament is now in session.

The session opened with the tradition of choosing a house speaker. “Historically, the speaker was chosen among parliamentarians, but the speaker had to be known to the monarch, who didn’t really like parliament. So the speaker was always in great danger,” explained Rebecca Hoiseth, the youth Minister of Public Relations.

While the politicians might not have real power, the youth parliament does debate very real issues. Teachers salary and environmental rights were both on the agenda.

“We just wrote a resolution that would grant rights to nature itself in the way people and corporations have rights. I think that would be a really interesting discussion to have,” said Charlie Peters, a member of opposition.

Debate skills aren’t the only reason young people get involved in the program. For Peters, a six year member, youth parliament is big of a holiday tradition as Christmas dinner.

In the future, the group hopes to expand further into Saskatchewan’s north to attract an even more diverse point of view.