Youthful minds can provide a wealth of knowledge to their elected officials.
“Don’t let the idea that you are young stop you from taking part in government,” said MPP Paul Calandra. “Young people have a great deal of value to add to our system. A good idea is a good idea wherever it comes from.”
Calandra notes that he first noticed the impact government could have on a family’s life when interest rates skyrocketed in the early 1980s: “My family was not rich, but I had never noticed my parents worry about money before. Suddenly, when interest rates hit, 18, 19, and 20 per cent, I saw my mom and dad seriously worried for the very first time, and I realized this is the impact government can have on peoples’ lives.
“I was young, but I could see this was not good. That was when I first truly understood the importance of government. I encourage all interested young people to get involved and learn how government works.”
Members of the non-partisan youth council will have the opportunity to develop their research skills and provide in-depth feedback to Calandra on issues facing local youth from a provincial perspective, and to identify three ministries which impact youth and provide recommendations on how those ministries can better serve young people.
Membership on the non-partisan Youth Council is open to students from Grades 9-12 living in Markham-Stouffville with a passion for community involvement and service. Students will receive credit toward their school community service requirement.
Five meetings are scheduled for the 2019-20 school year; additional activities may also be developed depending upon interest and opportunity. Applications will be accepted until Sept. 18.