You didn’t have to be older or have a university degree to be a cabinet minister in Alberta yesterday.

This was the case for 10-year-old Georgia Turcott of Canmore, who is this year’s winner of the Alberta Environment’s Minister for the Day competition, a program that engages Grade 5 students from across the province on environmental issues.

For Georgia, the honour of being a minister for the Day required her to understand the role first before truly enjoying the moment.

“My goal today was kind of to learn what it’s like to be a minister,” she said at the legislature, where Environment Minister Rob Renner and 11 other finalists from across Alberta shared their thoughts for a green Alberta.

“It’s really exciting,” she said.

Since 2000, the program has been held annually during Environment Week, which runs this year from May 31 to June 6.

To compete in the program students submit essays detailing their own thoughts about how the government can protect the environment.

Georgia’s winning statement dealt with the impacts of climate change on mountain snowpack and available water supply.

The students asked Renner what the government was doing to reduce pollution, why Alberta still sells toxic products and the steps he was taking personally to minimize the impact of emissions.