The environment is a top priority for many local youth and they are taking their concerns to Ottawa.
Hastings—Lennox and Addington MP Mike Bossio recently sat down with several members of the Hastings—Lennox and Addington Constituency Youth Council at Central Hastings Secondary School in Madoc, where he also went to high school.
“We discussed an issue that they told me was very important to them, and that’s the environment,” said Bossio. “The council voiced their concern about climate change and that they, as the next generation, will inherit this problem. We also spoke about how society as a whole is becoming more environmentally-aware and concerned about the future, as well as the eagerness of our communities to move forward to do the work necessary on this important issue.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said that “young voices must be part of our decision making process.” The Constituency Youth Councils are a new initiative launched last year as a way of putting this into action.
In Hastings—Lennox and Addington, the council is made up of 16 members from across the riding who meet regularly with Bossio to raise issues important to youth. Previous meetings have been held at Napanee District Secondary School, and via teleconference.
“The council so far has been able to give me a sense that my voice, as a young person, matters,” said Lexus Scott, a member of the council from Maynooth. “I have been able not only to learn about new topics but also topics that the majority of us as youth think are important.”
Madelyn McEwen of Foxboro added that “the council is an amazing learning experience and a great place to voice thoughts and opinions about the community.”
For Jordan Brownlee of Bancroft, “I feel like this is finally a place where my ideas are accepted and can have an impact on the issues we discuss.”
Plans are in the works for the council to meet on Parliament Hill in the spring.