The new Pontiac youth council in the inaugural meeting.
CAMPBELL’S BAY – The Pontiac Youth Council had their inaugural meeting on Monday, February 13, at the MRC building in Campbell’s Bay. The group of 21 students aged 14-17 came from across the Pontiac.
The idea for a youth council in the Pontiac was spearheaded by MRC Warden Jane Toller, who was able to form the first council in 2019 with 17 students. “We were shut down from 2021 and 2022 because of Covid, but we
are glad to be able to resume this year, as we value the ideas the youth bring forth, and we appreciate their participation in shaping our community.”
While the Youth Council has no legislative authority, they had the ear of government that night. “Transportation is a big issue, as many of these young people aren’t yet allowed to drive, and the distance between places in the Pontiac can be far. They are also looking to improve health services, with better access to mental health infrastructure and support for healthy eating and places to exercise.” Also on the agenda were jobs. “Our young people want to know that there’s a way for them to have a career in the Pontiac, even if they have to obtain an education elsewhere,” Toller stated.
The question of inclusion was addressed at the meeting as there is one member who technically resides outside of the Pontiac. “Luskville is part of MRC des Collines-de-l’Outaouais, but we decided he should be included in representing the Pontiac,” Toller said.
“We have students who go to school in Shawville, and we are very close to Luskville and Quyon.”
The next meeting of the youth council is scheduled for March 20.