Youth invited to be involved in Northern Sunrise County government

Emily Plihal
Local Journalism
Initiative Reporter

At its March 26 regular meeting, Northern Sunrise County passed third reading to create a Youth Council Committee to encourage its youth to become involved with municipal politics and decision making.

“NSC values the youth in its communities and hopes to encourage youth to become and continue to be active global citizens,” says economic development officer Lynn Florence.

“By creating an opportunity for youth to become involved in local government, youth are granted the opportunity to create initiatives that will not only benefit their lives but also the lives of others within the county,” she adds.

Reeve Corinna Williams says having some insight from youth will be an added bonus for the county in decision making and shaping the future.

“The Youth Council Committee aims to empower young people to engage in municipal government, enabling them to influence decisions impacting their personal and professional lives, as well as shaping the future trajectory of Northern Sunrise County and the surrounding region,” says Williams.

“Council would like to see the youth continue to be residents of NSC, as part of growth and economic development for the county, giving youth the ability to share their thoughts and visions to achieve this,” she adds.

Florence explains the hope is the youth council will allow them to become engaged in community events, social events, and within municipal government. She says the Northern Sunrise Youth Council will give youth the opportunity to become active agents of change within their communities.

“Creating more opportunities for youth to be involved in the community ensures that they take pride in their communities while simultaneously providing an opportunity to learn various skills and strengths as young people,” she says.

“A council member will sit on this committee and will be involved in our strategic plan and initiatives. Feedback to other council members will be discussed with the EDO (economic development officer) report,” she adds.

The youth council membership will have up to six members between the ages of 12-24 years, and one county councillor, and the economic development officer. Interested youth council members must be residents of the county, a student in junior/senior high school or post secondary, or youth who are self-employed or employed in a profession or trades occupation.

Members will meet quarterly (four times each year) and will be paid honorariums and travel time to attend meetings.

The youth council is part of the County’s Youth Retention Strategy to ensure youth stay in the region when they are done school.

“By providing a community’s youth to take pride and action within their county and communities, it encourages them to keep coming back, and to return to the county as independent residents themselves,” Florence says.

“Ultimately, by giving youth a voice in municipal government, in their communities and within NSC, it gives voice to a unique set of ideas, perspectives and opportunities.”

For more information or to inquire about applying to be part of the council, contact Lynn Florence at (780) 625-3288. All applications must be submitted by April 30.

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