PEI

P.E.I. government accepting applications for youth council

The P.E.I. government is now accepting applications for a new youth council. The council, which will include 12 to 15 people, is open to anyone between the ages of 16 and 29.

Council will advise government on issues related to youth

The council will be an opportunity for young people to advise government on policy that may affect them. (gpointstudio/Shutterstock)

The P.E.I. government is now accepting applications for a new youth council. 

The council, which will include 12 to 15 people, is open to anyone between the ages of 16 and 29. Members will advise the government on issues related to youth.

"The council will give advice to government on policy, on ways that we can enhance the experience for young people, the opportunities for young people to be setting down roots or to prosper here," said Premier Wade MacLauchlan.

He said the council is part of a larger rejuvenation plan within the province.

Youth council natural fit

MacLauchlan said the council will serve a similar role to other advisory councils.

"We have health advisory councils, education advisory councils, environmental advisory councils. So in fact as you work through, it's natural to have a youth advisory council," he said.

He said he hopes the selected group will represent the diversity of the province.

"We want people who care about P.E.I., people who want our province to do well, people who will work well with others. And indeed who will bring together through their diverse perspectives a representation of the whole of the province."

'Face to face contact'

Erika MacDonald, a member of the group Young Voters PEI, thinks creating a youth council is a step in the right direction.

 'You actually get to sit down and have that contact, but with people who are decision makers'- Erika MacDonald

"For years and years and years in politics, it's 'how to do get the youth vote,'" said MacDonald. 

She thinks having direct input will be an important way to engage young people.

"We have so many interactions over the internet, or over texting, and we never get to sit down and have that face to face contact. So I think that this is really really important to have, because you actually get to sit down and have that contact, but with people who are decision makers."

Encouraging people to apply

MacDonald said she thinks most governments could do more to try address issues that affect young people.

She hopes council members will work with government on issues like student loans, and mental health supports.

While MacDonald is happy to hear about the council, she said she doesn't plan to apply, because she'll be returning to Halifax in the fall for school.

She said, though, that's she's already started sharing information about the council with friends on Facebook.

"I will be encouraging other people who I know who are on the Island and staying on the Island to apply."