Es­tab­lish­ment of an Ed­son Youth Coun­cil a key pri­or­ity for Kevin Za­hara

The McLeod River Post - - Municipal Election 2017 -

With the mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion quickly ap­proach­ing, May­oral can­di­date Kevin Za­hara re­leased his first of five plat­form planks, a fo­cus on youth.

“A key pri­or­ity as Mayor would be to es­tab­lish an Ed­son Youth Coun­cil to pro­vide ad­vice on is­sues im­pact­ing youth and in­put on the work we are do­ing to en­sure sound de­ci­sions are made for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions,” said Kevin Za­hara who was first elected at 19.

Za­hara cov­ered coun­cil for work ex­pe­ri­ence in High School for a ra­dio sta­tion and says it was the main in­flu­ence in get­ting him in­ter­ested in politics. The Youth Coun­cil would be a mech­a­nism for Town Coun­cil to get in­put from youth with a goal of cre­at­ing the next gen­er­a­tion of lead­ers and vol­un­teers.

“De­tails on the nom­i­na­tion process and the terms of ref­er­ence would be cre­ated in col­lab­o­ra­tion with school di­vi­sions, the Boys and Girls Club and other or­ga­ni­za­tions that do im­por­tant work with youth in Ed­son. I’d like to see it mod­elled af­ter the Ed­mon­ton Youth Coun­cil on a smaller scale due to our size.”

That coun­cil is an ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee of Ed­mon­ton City Coun­cil com­prised of youth 13 to 23. Their mis­sion is to “Ed­u­cate and em­power youth to pro­vide mean­ing­ful in­put and to take ac­tion on lo­cal is­sues and mu­nic­i­pal politics.”

Many Ed­son em­ploy­ers are strug­gling to at­tract peo­ple for key po­si­tions. Za­hara wants to col­lab­o­rate with them, Yel­low­head County and School Di­vi­sions to en­cour­age youth to re­turn to Ed­son af­ter PostSe­condary. This could in­clude a grant pro­gram to as­sist stu­dents with post-sec­ondary stud­ies. In ex­change they’d com­mit to re­turn­ing to Ed­son for a pe­riod of time to work in their area of ex­per­tise.

“It’s im­por­tant we foster lead­er­ship and pro­vide youth with ev­ery op­por­tu­nity to suc­ceed in Ed­son.”

Za­hara says he’d also like to im­ple­ment a recog­ni­tion pro­gram for out­stand­ing lo­cal youth and cre­ate a Mayor for a Day pro­gram to fur­ther en­gage youth and get them in­ter­ested in lead­er­ship roles. Za­hara also sup­ports a long-term com­mit­ment to hav­ing an RCMP School Re­source Of­fi­cer in Ed­son with fund­ing to come from part­ners and the au­to­mated en­force­ment pro­gram. More in­for­ma­tion is avail­able at

www.kev­in­za­hara.ca. Stay tuned for fur­ther plat­form in­for­ma­tion in the com­ing weeks.

To learn more about the Ed­mon­ton Youth Coun­cil visit: https://www.ceyc.ca/

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