PROVIDING AN OPPORTUNITY FOR YOUTH TO PARTICIPATE IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT DECISIONS
   
ROBERT KIRWAN - WARD 5
 
PROVIDING OUR YOUTH WITH OPPORTUNITY TO PARTICIPATE
 
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WE NEED TO PROVIDE OUR YOUTH WITH AN OPPORTUNITY TO PARTICIPATE IN A MEANINGFUL WAY IN THE BUILDING OF OUR COMMUNITY

During my career as a classroom teacher and now in my latest role as a Trustee with the Rainbow District School Board, I have always been aware that our youth, especially our high school students, have so much to contribute to our community.

We must do a better job of allowing their voices to be heard in meaningful ways and stop thinking that all they can do is play sports, work at fund-raising events and do community service hours. They can provide some excellent insight into the challenges we face as an entire community and they have a perspective that is much different from others. This may be done through the formation of a special Youth Council, holding several "Town Hall" meetings at secondary and post-secondary institutions, or some other method that will be meaningful and effective.

They may not have the experience or the ability to make things happen or to implement their ideas, but by working with an "older" generation that is willing to truly listen to what they have to say, this energy can be harnessed in ways that are absolutely astounding. As political leaders, we should not be afraid of our young high school and university students. We should embrace them and work with them for the betterment of this community.

This is one of the things I am looking forward to the most on City Council as a representative of Ward 5. It is the opportunity to work with all of the youth of this community and to bring energy to the table through their enthusiasm and desire to participate.

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