By: Victoria Lopatka, Staff Writer
On October 6, 2021, the BC government announced the creation of the StrongerBC Young Leaders Council. The Council will consist of youth aged 14–26 and will be chaired by Brittny Anderson, the Premier’s special advisor on youth.
The Council will provide youth members an opportunity to represent their communities, share opinions, and meet governmental leaders. “From climate change to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, young people are facing considerable challenges,” said Premier John Horgan in a press release. “The StrongerBC Young Leaders Council will have our government’s ear as part of an ongoing dialogue. We want to know what matters most to BC’s youth and to make sure they have a say.”
Discussion topics will include “economic recovery, the environment and natural resources, climate change, education, housing, mental health and other areas important to youth.”
Applications to join the Council opened on October 6, and closed on October 27. The application process included submitting a self-biography, a description of work and volunteer experience, and a reference. Applicantions were open to Canadian citizens or permanent residents, residents of BC, and required applicants to be able to commit to at least one year serving on Council.
All interested youth were encouraged to apply, specifically Indigenous youth, youth of colour, those living in remote communities, youth with disabilities, youth in the LGBTQIA2S+ community, and any other youth whose communities are under-represented in government.
Kishoore Ramanathan, Premier of the 93rd British Columbia Youth Parliament, encouraged youth to apply in a press release. “The voices of young people must be heard at all levels of government. As youth, we have unique perspectives and diverse experiences that can contribute meaningfully to public policy. Decisions that are being made today will directly affect our generation and continue to affect generations to come.”
Council members hold positions for one to three years and meet once every three months for approximately two to four hours at a time. Council meetings will involve meeting other young leaders, discussing key topics facing youth, suggesting topics for future discussions, working on special projects, and sharing thoughts with the Chair.
More information on the Young Leaders Council can be found on the provincial government website, as well as through emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 250-940-8555.