Town councils should follow Dicks’ lead in youth engagement


To the Editor:
I commend New Glasgow’s new mayor, Nancy Dicks for her leadership. She feels it is important that young people in the town have the opportunity to have a better line of communication with the town and following her lead, New Glasgow council is looking at striking a new committee that will focus on youth.
“It will be about getting young people to think about their role and being engaged in their community,” she said.
I encourage the mayors and councils of all our towns to get on board with this idea. Our communities cannot survive and thrive if we continue to encourage our youth to disengage from us, to move away and build their lives and futures elsewhere. Our communities must seek and find ways to engage with and provide the support their youth need so that they can build their dreams here locally and support our communities.
Mayor Dicks said she would like the committee to be made up of eight to 10 members that would include two people from Pulse Pictou County, two students from North Nova Education Centre, two business owners and two members at large.
But I believe that this part of her plan requires some further thinking. So I’d add these suggestions:
– To recognize the vitally important role of this committee, it should be chaired by a member of town council and perhaps cochaired by an elected student.
– The goal is to engage youth and not just two students so this group’s proceedings should be planned in a manner calculated to gather and deal with the issues and concerns of the community’s youth and they should be held in a public and accessible youth venue.
Ralph Ferguson

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