Hope­fuls an­swer youth

The Sun Times (Owen Sound) - - FRONT PAGE - DE­NIS LANGLOIS

Lo­cal youth have asked and most Owen Sound can­di­dates have an­swered.

The group Youth Ask Grey Bruce, which re­ceived a grant from the Laidlaw Foun­da­tion to en­gage young peo­ple in this mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion, has up­loaded videos of can­di­dates for city coun­cil an­swer­ing six ques­tions sub­mit­ted by peo­ple aged 14 to 29 who live, work or study in Owen Sound.

Four­teen of the 19 can­di­dates who will be on the bal­lot in Owen Sound par­tic­i­pated in the project.

“Our in­ten­tion has been twofold. On one hand, to make it eas­ier for youth to en­gage in the po­lit­i­cal process by specif­i­cally putting out an in­vi­ta­tion and say­ing, your voices mat­ter and we want to hear from you. And, on the flip side, to have can­di­dates bet­ter con­nected to youth is­sues and the con­cerns of younger peo­ple in the area,” coor­ga­nizer Jon Farmer said in an in­ter­view Wed­nes­day.

Peo­ple can vote on­line or by tele­phone in Owen Sound’s mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion from to­day to Elec­tion Day, Oct. 22.

May­oral can­di­dates Ian Boddy and Ray Bot­ten filmed their re­sponses, along with deputy­mayor can­di­date Brian O’Leary.

Nancy Lee Rosa­mond, who filed her nom­i­na­tion pa­pers to run for mayor, has pub­licly stated that she has dropped out of the race. Paul Patille, who is run­ning against O’Leary, did not par­tic­i­pate.

Coun­cil­lor can­di­dates Brock Ham­ley, Gail McCart­ney and De­nae Moores also didn’t film re­sponses.

How­ever, can­di­dates Travis Dodd, Jacquie Furt­ner, Scott Greig, Steve Hencze, Mar­ion Koepke, Peter Le­mon, Carol Mer­ton, John Tam­ming, Richard Thomas, Bill Twad­dle and Riel War­rilow did take part.

The can­di­dates were asked: In your opin­ion, what is the best qual­ity you bring to the ta­ble to rep­re­sent our town, if you are elected?; What com­mu­nity-build­ing ini­tia­tives have you been in­volved with in the past?; How do you plan to bring more peo­ple to the area, es­pe­cially young peo­ple who will stay for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions?; What is your plan to clean up the Owen Sound har­bour and wa­ter­front to make it safe and sus­tain­able?; What role, if any, do you think Owen Sound city coun­cil has in deal­ing with the opi­oid cri­sis hit­ting our com­mu­nity?; and The num­ber of city com­mit­tees was de­creased dur­ing the last term but com­mit­tees are a key way to en­gage the pub­lic for their opin­ions and feed­back. Would you con­sider in­creas­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­tion in coun­cil de­ci­sion mak­ing? If so, how?

Farmer said Youth Ask Grey Bruce re­ceived 17 ques­tions from Owen Sound youth in Septem­ber.

The or­ga­niz­ers chose six rep­re­sen­ta­tive ques­tions from those sub­mit­ted and in­vited all can­di­dates to film their re­sponses.

“We’re happy so many of the can­di­dates chose to par­tic­i­pate in our project,” Dy­lan Chau­vin-Smith, a coor­ga­nizer of the project and lead videog­ra­pher, said in a press re­lease.

“We chose this for­mat be­cause it makes it easy for view­ers to com­pare the dif­fer­ent can­di­dates as they’re all on a level play­ing field. Most of all, I’m happy with the ques­tions posed by lo­cal youth be­cause they dis­played thought­ful­ness and real en­gage­ment with the is­sues fac­ing the city.”

The videos are avail­able on the Youth Ask Grey Bruce Face­book Page and the Youth Ask YouTube chan­nel.

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