Families, friends of fire victims call for Montague youth centre

A group of teenagers wants to build a youth centre in Montague, P.E.I., in memory of the three boys who died in a fire in Charlottetown.

Emotional appeals presented in front of town council

Friends and family of the three teens who died in a Charlottetown vacant building fire call on Montague council to create a youth centre. 2:06

A group of teenagers wants to build a youth centre in Montague, P.E.I., in memory of the three boys who died in a Charlottetown fire.  

The young people met with the town council for an emotional presentation Monday. 

Kyla MacKenzie said young people have nowhere to go. 

"We're kicked out of every property that we try to go on and the waterfront, we can't even go there. We get questioned no matter what we do," MacKenzie said.

More than 50 people came to support the proposal. The idea was driven by the recent tragedy in Charlottetown where three young men lost their lives in a fire in a vacant building. 

The meeting brought tears as council members heard from some of the victims' families.

Safe place for kids

Sandra Jenkins is Brandon MacKinnon's mother. The 15-year-old died in the fire. 

"We were all kids once you know and if this youth centre means anything, it would just be a place for kids to go to hang out," she said. 

Young people packed the meeting Monday. (Robyn Miller/CBC)
Llewell Llewelyn, Kenneth Irving's grandmother, spoke about her family's struggle with the sudden death of the 15 year old. 

"I know what I'm going through, my daughter, my other daughter ... we're suffering, but they're suffering too. We really need this centre for our youth," she said. 

Brandon Quinn, the only teen to survive the fire, was also at the meeting.

The presenters asked council to first consider a temporary location and then later look at a more permanent facility that would potentially include a skateboard park.

'It's something that's going to help our generation'

Ann Marie-King said it will help young people for years. 

"It's not something just to make us all feel better about what happened. It's something that's going to help our generation, as well as many generations to come," she said. 

Council listened for 90 minutes and then offered support. The mayor commended the group for their efforts so far.

The volunteer committee is still in the planning stages but say they want to call the centre Just Being Kids, or JBK for short. 

JBK are the initials of the three boys killed in the fire.