THUNDER BAY – Editorial – Canadian flags, cold drinks, hotdogs, frozen treats, and smiles. The Regional Youth Multicultural Council was busy again hosting a community barbecue and gathering information from residents in the Limbrick neighbourhood on Friday. The goal of these efforts are in helping put down the foundation of building more solid neighbourhoods in Thunder Bay.
The RMYC have a reputation for building bridges into neighbourhoods across the city. They work with partner groups, in Limbrick for example this latest barbecue was at the Vale Community Centre where the Boys and Girls Club are running programs this summer. The RMYC has a focus on working with teenagers, and the Boys and Girls Club(s) are more focused on the younger children. When groups with slightly different areas of focus are able to work together the end result are stronger neighbourhoods. This year’s RMYC barbecues are a follow up to the Youth Council’s neighbourhood consultations last year on the safety concerns of children and youth in the community.
In Limbrick, Candace Ferguson, a RMYC Vice President is a resident in the neighbourhood, and she is working toward the formation of a ‘Team Limbrick’ group within the neighbourhood. Those kinds of efforts generate better neighbourhoods, as can be seen in Linda Bruin’s Evergreen neighbourhood in Minnesota Park, and in the ongoing efforts of the Community Action Group in Windsor/Picton/Blutcher headed by Alaina King and Steve Mantis.
The core of a successful community starts in building safe and solid neighbourhoods. The RMYC in Thunder Bay is a youth-lead council focusing on the teens in our city. The work these young people do is amazing, and deserving of support.
What is sometimes overlooked is the simple fact that in what are often seen as neighbourhoods at risk, the vast majority of the residents want their families and neighbourhoods to be safer places too. Getting started can be a real challenge. It takes building partnerships, it takes working together, and it takes communications.
Youth issues in our community are a critical component in building our city’s future. Right now it appears there is a ‘perfect storm’ forming to generate some of the needed actions to help make Thunder Bay a more successful and vibrant community. It is critically important for our community. There are many opportunities for our city to thrive into the future, and having young people making the right choices is a key ingredient in that recipe.