Evie Clarke, a Grade 11 student at Elphinstone Secondary, has been sworn in as Gibsons’ newest youth councillor.
Clarke is the fifth youth councillor since the program began in 2018 and the first to be sworn in over Zoom.
Gravity Guignard, who was the alternate youth councillor last term, was also sworn in as the lead youth councillor for this term.
Mayor Bill Beamish said council is very proud of the program, which he also said is continuing to evolve, and councillors offered their congratulations.
“Politics is not just someone’s business, it’s everyone’s business, because we’re all effected by the decisions that are made,” Coun. Annemarie De Andrade said. “To have youth participating is super important.”
Coun. Aleria Ladwig said it was inspiring that people their age have chosen to be involved in the community.
Guignard said the initiative to form a Sunshine Coast Youth Council that was started last spring is still moving forward, although not as fast as hoped because of the pandemic.
Guignard said she and former youth councillor Eilis Mackenzie have been working on the project.
“We were originally hoping to get it started in the fall, but now we’ve decided that January is our new goal,” she said.
The youth council would include delegates from Gibsons, Sechelt, the shíshálh Nation, the Sunshine Coast Regional District as well as representatives from Powell River, the qathet Regional District and the Squamish Nation.
Gibsons and Sechelt councils have already voted to support the youth council and contribute to its budget.