Hopefuls answer youth
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.