I’m pleased to introduce the 2017-2018 Markham-Stouffville Youth Council. These young people are engaged students who wish to be actively involved in shaping the future of Canada. We will be meeting several times over the academic year and discussing matters important to them and to our country.
In our first discussion, we focused on two areas – Discrimination and Environment & Climate Change.
We selected the first topic because of incidents of hate that have occurred in our community, and I wanted to understand the youth’s personal experiences and observations. As Markham and Whitchurch-Stouffville continue to grow in diversity, we want to ensure that everyone feels welcome and included.
The second topic was a top-ranking issue for students identified in their applications, as well as the wider constituent population, as demonstrated in householder response surveys. The students were well-versed in this topic, and identified wide-ranging areas of concern including natural disasters associated with climate change, forestry practices, and fracking. Youth also identified that they would like to see more progress in areas such as electric cars (e.g. incentives, charging stations), and improved availability of public transit.
I was very encouraged to hear the depth of understanding from these amazing young people, their thoughtful responses, and their range of solutions suggested.