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Youth council gets committee support

Andrew Philips

By Andrew Philips, Special to Postmedia Network

(Postmedia file photo)

(Postmedia file photo)

Orillia will soon have a standalone youth council to identify issues affecting the city's younger set.

Council committee gave their support Monday towards moving forward with a maximum 12-member committee that would feature youth from different age groups.

"I think this is a fantastic opportunity for young people," Coun. Mason Ainsworth said.

Orillia Youth Centre executive director Kevin Gangloff presented council with a report laying out the new committee's structure and how the municipality will benefit by giving youth an outlet to bring issues to council by serving as the voice of their peers.

Addressing how the new council would be structured, Gangloff said the youth would be guided by post-secondary students who would serve as mentors.

"We will have mentors that we'll recruit to help set up the governance structure," Gangloff said. "We are going to have them (the council) govern themselves. The task-force mentors would then step back into the shadows."

Gangloff said there will be a formal application process with interviews conducted to ensure the council features a balanced membership.

"You'll always have members leaving the committee and new members coming in," he said. "There will always be support there for them, but they'll be tasked with running their own meetings."

Mayor Steve Clarke said he strongly supports the council, which he noted will "greatly enrich" the city.

The council, which should be up and running soon following the establishment of a governance structure and bylaw policies, will feature two youth from grades 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and/or 12B, all serving one-year terms.

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