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Members say they’re being heard following day of meetings in St. John’s
The introduction of new technologies into daily life — and into government programming — was a theme Friday for the Premier’s Youth Council, during a run of meetings at Confederation Building in St. John’s.
The council, created in 2017, consists of up to 25 appointees, ages 16 to 24. It meets regularly, but the current council was together most recently for briefings from provincial ministers and discussion on: youth mental health and addictions; employment and small business; violence prevention and supports; accessibility; and food self-sufficiency and agriculture.
"One big common theme that I found, and others found, is the big importance of technology on certain topics, such as agriculture, such as mental health and the health-care system and just being able to reach more youth and get more youth involved in the province,” said co-chair Raylene Mackey. She said the current government has been receptive to their input.
Co-chair Mark Murdoch said Premier Dwight Ball has reached out to each council member and he’s seen more connection with the council than he had expected.
“Not only did we have our discussions on the round table, (the premier) took time to come and talk to each of us. I never expected such engagement and I certainly didn’t expect to spend the full day with the premier,” he said, adding he appreciated recognition for youth council perspectives.
“These fact-to-face meetings are important,” Ball told reporters, giving assurances new policy, planning and legislation is considering the feedback from council members.
“What I saw in the room was a lot of energy and a lot of enthusiasm, and a lot of pride in this province,” he said. “For me it was a remarkable day. I knew it would be, too … given the level of youth engagement that we’ve had in the past.”
With home towns around the province, the current Premier’s Youth Council members are: Adam Murphy, Riley Farrell, Bennett Newhook, Sarah Winsor, Patrick Pearson, Haley Moriarity, Nicholas Hillier, Melanie Lundrigan, Erin Ball, Laura Peckford, William White, Lauren Carter, Kaulie Chaulk, Hailey Noseworthy, Frances Leonard, Katie Wells, Olivia Perry, Shaelynn Barry, Daniel Stark, McAuley Bellows, Radhika Verma, Billy Barnes and Mackey and Murdock.
NOTE: This is an updated version, to include a corrected, complete list of council members.
N.L. government asking youth for advice