SYP first met in 1912 as the Older Boys Youth Parliament (making SYP older than the Youth Parliament of Manitoba, despite what they say). However, it had a shaky beginning and collapsed after a few years of existence.
In 1923, SYP was revived under the TUXIS movement as an organization for Christian boys. That Christmas the first Session was held at the Saskatchewan Legislature, where it has been held almost every year since.
The Great Depression and the outbreak of World War II caused a fifteen year separation between the 8th and 9th
Session of the Youth Parliament, so it wasn’t until 1945 that Youth Parliament in Saskatchewan began to consistently meet again. At this time, the Older Boys Parliament began its evolution towards what we now call SYP. There were many spirited debates on whether to admit females, non-Christians and smokers. The members at the time decided to allow smokers to join but not females or non-Christians. In 1959, there was a resolution debated on permitting females to join the organization. At the time, former Saskatchewan premier Lorne Calvert was a member and gave a passionate speech against admitting females, while his then girlfriend watched from the gallery. Apparently, they broke up soon afterwards.
It wasn’t until 1972 that females and non-Christians were allowed to join. Around the same time, the name was also changed to Saskatchewan Youth Parliament. In 1987, Saskatchewan Youth Parliament celebrated its 75th Anniversary at a reunion celebration which united generations of Youth Parliamentarians. This led to the initial draft of the Constitution and Standing Orders in 1988.
Throughout the years, Saskatchewan Youth Parliament has seen many of its members become notable political leaders, including John Diefenbaker, Gordon Barnhart, Ralph Goodale, and Lorne Calvert. Many other former members have also made their mark on Saskatchewan and on Canada, becoming police officers, television reporters, teachers and lawyers.
In 2012 a group of SYP alumni organized an event to bring together current SYP members and SYP alumni in order to celebrate the 100th anniversary of SYP.
This event brought together current SYP members as well as alumni from as far back as the 1940′s. It was held at the legislative building in Regina, Saskatchewan.
For more information about SYP please check out our wikipedia page.