Premier’s Youth Council interested in integration of new technology
Members say they’re being heard following day of meetings
The introduction of new technologies into daily life — and into government programming — was a theme Friday for the Premier’s Youth Council, during a run of meetings at Confederation Building in St. John’s.
The council was created in 2017 and is made up of 25 appointees, age 16 to 24. It meets regularly, but was together most recently for briefings from provincial ministers and discussion on: youth mental health and addictions; employment and small business; violence prevention and supports; accessibility; and food self-sufficiency and agriculture.
“One big common theme that I found and others found is the big importance of technology on certain topics, such as agriculture, such as mental health and the health care system and just being able to reach more youth and get more youth involved in the province,” said co-chair Raylene Mackey, offering one theme from the day.
As for input coming from the youth council, she said the current government has been receptive.
Co-chair Mark Murdoch said Premier Dwight Ball has reached out to council members individually and there’s been more connection with the council than he had expected.
“Not only did we have our discussions on the round table, (the premier) took time to come and talk to each of us. I never expected such engagement and I certainly didn’t expect to spend the full day with the premier,” he said, adding he appreciated recognition for youth council member perspectives.
“These fact-to-face meetings are important,” Ball told reporters, giving assurances new policy, planning and legislation is taking into account the feedback from council members.
“What I saw in the room was a lot of energy and a lot of enthusiasm, and a lot of pride in this province,” he said. “For me it was a remarkable day. I knew it would be too, by the way, given the level of youth engagement that we’ve had in the past.”
With hometowns around the province, the current Premier’s Youth Council members are: Adam Murphy, Riley Farrell, Bennett Newhook, Sarah Winsor, Haley Moriarity, Nicholas Hillier, Melanie Lundrigan, Erin Ball, Laura Peckford, William White, Lauren Carter, Kaulie Chaulk, Hailey Noseworthy, Frances Leonard, Katie Wells, Olivia Perry, Shaelynn Barry, Daniel Stark, McAuley Bellows, Radhika Verma, Billy Barnes and Mackey and Murdock.
Premier Dwight Ball speaks to members of the Premier’s Youth Council at the Confederation Building in St. John’s on Friday afternoon after a press conference with questions on the full day of meetings involving the council, premier and provincial ministers.