Coun. Al Anderson believes establishing a local youth council could bring a valuable voice to Tofino’s district office.
During a recent regular council meeting, Anderson said he was inspired by the youth councillors from Duncan and Nanaimo he met at April’s Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities convention.
He suggested youth councils are comprised of locals under 25 years old who can be appointed or elected by the community.
“Sometimes they even have their own budget to do their own projects,” he said adding he was impressed by the young councillors’ energy and preparedness.
“You could readily see that there was quite a bit that they had gained from it. It gets young people involved.”
He noted Tofino has tried to get youth engaged at the local government level before and it might be worth taking another shot.
“We’ve had a few times where we’ve made attempts to get youth involved in council, and so on, but I’m wondering if there’s any interest out there in the community to have some sort of a body like that in Tofino,” he said.
“There’s certainly issues that affect youth that, sometimes, I think council and the adult world are not necessarily aware of and it’s a great way to get that information to council. It’s also a great way to get young folks interested in, participating and learning about democracy and how it works.”
Coun. Dorothy Baert agreed and said she noticed a vibrant youth contingent at the conference.
“The presence of the youth throughout the conference and the engagement with them and the opportunities to talk with them as it relates to local government was a really valuable part of the conference,” she said.