Saanich Coun. Ned Taylor has been a young leader in his community for some time.
He’s volunteered for environmental initiatives, community organizations and political campaigns in the past. Today he is an active Capital Regional District director who sits on two boards and four CRD committees – he chairs the solid waste advisory committee and co-chairs another for environmental services.
He was elected to council in 2018, a year after graduating from Reynolds secondary, and these days is frequently the youngest person around the board table. That’s part of the reason he wants the CRD to expand on its connections with local youth and young adults.
Taylor envisions the CRD partnering with public, private and tribal schools and post-secondary institutions to provide valuable educational opportunities for students and young working people, which could include such things as job shadowing or creating a youth advisory group.
He pointed to the work Victoria is doing with its youth council, not only in providing opportunities for its members to get involved and become young leaders in their communities, but to share youth perspectives with city council on important issues.
While the CRD does not have a specific committee relating to youth and educational activities, it engages frequently with area youth through its delivery of parks, recreation and culture programs, and initiatives such as the active school travel planning.
Committee members from Sooke and Central Saanich also pointed out that their councils engage directly with school classes, hosting mock council meetings and other educational events.
Taylor’s motion asking staff to explore youth engagement opportunities within the CRD, including consideration of collaboration with secondary and post-secondary education institutions and municipalities, passed. No date was set for returning to the committee with new information.