Youth Council gets down to business with inaugural meeting

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Added: Wed, 01/30/2019 - 3:45pm
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Les membres du Conseil de la jeunesse /The Youth Council members: Patrick Pepin (Mansfield); Haley Peck (Alleyn-et-Cawood); Vanessa Tubman (Bristol); Emma Cameron (Bryson); Jordan Larivière (Campbell's Bay); Jenna Gagnon (Chichester); McKenna Richardson (Clarendon); Zachary Dubé (Fort-Coulonge); Chloe LaSalle (Ile-du-Grand-Calumet); Nicholas Richard (Otter Lake); Rhea Fleury (L'Isle-aux-Allumettes); Rowan Hill (Litchfield); Haylen Windsor (Portage); Josée Paquette (Rapides-des-Joachims); Monica Tanguay (Shawville); Maggie McDonald (Sheenboro); Lila Galipeau (Thorne); and Anthony Turner (Waltham).  Absentes/absent: Rhea Fleury et/and Josée Paquette.

Allyson Beauregard

MRC PONTIAC – The Pontiac Youth Council held their inaugural meeting in the MRC Pontiac's Elsie Gibbons Room, January 21, in front of family, friends, and local elected officials. Sixteen of the eighteen members attended and were each introduced and presented with an MRC pin. 
The Council is made up of 18 students between the ages of 14 and 18
representing the MRC's 18 municipalities. “We are the first MRC out of 86 in Quebec to initiate a youth council. There are other youth councils in cities like Gatineau; I was told by the mayor that it's a powerful force that has made a big difference,” said Warden Jane Toller, who initiated the project, which was approved by the Council of Mayors last September.
Late last year, Toller spoke about the Youth Council at local high schools, where she collected names of interested students to add to those recommended by teachers and mayors. Each municipality then chose a representative.
Pontiac MNA Andre Fortin also addressed the crowd, and offered the
students advice: “You are representing your municipality and your views, so don't be afraid to say something others may disagree with”, a message that was echoed by Tyler LaSalle, representing Pontiac MP William Amos.
Before the official meeting, the group met in Toller's office where they brainstormed a list of priorities: better internet and cellular service, recreational facilities and access to public transportation; more access to part-time and summer jobs, and road safety.
The group will meet again February 25 and the third Monday of every month. During their next meeting, they will chose their president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer. “There won't be an audience and I will only be there as a resource person to answer questions,” explained Toller, who noted the Council of Mayors may send the group issues to debate at times or ask for their
president to speak to them at regular meetings.