To me, anytime there are signs of declining youth involvement in political matters, or in the community in general, it is sad. As residents of the township, youth are affected by decisions of council, just as adults and seniors are, and thus should have their say about the future of the community.
Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not blaming the youth, and I’m not blaming the Township. Instead I want to encourage people of all ages to be actively involved in the issues that affect their community. I understand the time constraints and the workload youth deal with, but to that point if any youth have time and would like to be involved in the community, I think they should attend a council meeting or inquire about how they can help tackle an issue they are passionate about.
Township clerk J.P. Newman did mention that the Scugog Memorial Library has a Teen Advisory Group, and hopefully they will start to see an increase in membership.
Just by having a presence, in the community and municipal matters, tells people the youth voice is just as important as everyone else’s; and youth can bring a different perspective to the issues. Encouraging youth to be involved in municipal matters should have an affect on the number of young people aged 18 to 24 who vote, and continue a trend which is heading upwards. According to Elections Canada, voting in that age group in the 2015 Federal Election increased 18 per cent from where it was in the 2011 election.
As many people realize, the youth are the future of the world, so having them get involved in municipal, provincial or federal issues, and having them find something they are passionate about at a young age is important. Hopefully youth realize the power they have to make change and take the initiative and get involved.