THUNDER BAY – POLITICS – In recent years, I have been privileged to work with so many talented, intelligent and amazing young people. From high school aged youth putting in their volunteer hours at community events to interns through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund and young professionals who are stepping up to make a difference – I am inspired by their enthusiasm and ideas.
As a candidate for City Council, I recognize the tremendous importance of retaining and attracting youth, families & young professionals to create a vibrant community for generations to come. Many of the positive changes that are happening in our city are due to the efforts and engagement of the “under 40” generation: the SHIFT Young Professionals Network brings people together to connect, share business ideas, and give back to local
charities; the Northwestern Ontario Visionary Awards celebrate and acknowledge the achievements of young professionals across the region; and the United Way GenNext Cabinet and Leadership Thunder Bay inspire giving, volunteerism and social awareness. Our city is a much better place because of the spirit and vision of these young talented leaders.
I want to harness the power of this demographic by ensuring they have a major voice with members of City Council, by engaging them fully in the sharing of their ideas and knowledge on how to develop strategies for economic growth, for future job creation, and how to best care for those in need in our community. Some of the interesting ideas they have shared, which I believe require the attention of our council include: expanding recruitment activities to other professions; exploring ways to incentivize young entrepreneurs to start businesses here; and evaluating property tax breaks to encourage reinvestment in older neighbourhoods. As a community, we need to be open to looking at new and innovative ways of moving our community forward.
I am energized by their passion and their leadership, and I am committed to working with and for them to help make positive changes that will better enable all of us to find good quality jobs and raise our families right here in Thunder Bay. I believe it is important to step up and be more proactive in our recruitment of this generation to get involved on City boards and committees.
I will continue to reach out and seek their input through regular discussion groups so we can better understand the opportunities and challenges that need to be addressed to enable our city to move forward.
In addition, I also believe that it is time for City Council to develop a comprehensive strategy surrounding our efforts to attract and retain the younger demographics given the challenges that we face as a result of Thunder Bay’s aging demographics.
Let’s listen, invest and share our time and our knowledge together so we can make our future bright with opportunities for all. Our youth are one of the most important assets we have for building a safe, prosperous and healthy community for everyone.
Candidate, Councillor at Large