Saanich Youth Council getting the vote out , even if some of them are too young to vote themselves

“It’s such a privilege to be able to vote that many countries don’t have and sometimes we take it for granted here.”

Ninu Forrest wants to give young people in Saanich a voice at the municipal level. Forrest is rallying for local youth – specifically the region’s large population of post-secondary students – to get out and vote on Nov. 19.

The thing is, at 15 years old, Forrest has three years before she’ll be able to go to the polls herself.

“I feel like sometimes these days people complain about stuff in their communities, but if you don’t go out and vote then there’s no way that you can change that,” said Forrest, recruitment director for Saanich Youth Council. “It’s such a privilege to be able to vote that many countries don’t have and sometimes we take it for granted here.”

Saanich Youth Council is a group of a dozen high school and university students who meet monthly at municipal hall to discuss issues in their community and consult with Saanich council advisory committees. During Youth Council’s inaugural year, much of their efforts were focused on reaching beyond their own relationship with municipal councillors to identify common concerns of young people in their community – the most common, Forrest said, is transportation.

Youth Council has partnered with the Gordon Head Residents’ Association to host an all candidates meeting with the aim of getting more young people interested in the discussion and out to the polls. The meeting is slated for 7 p.m. Nov. 17 at the Gordon Head United Church, 4201 Tyndall Ave.

“We do want youth to come out to these kinds of events because we are the leaders of tomorrow, but if we don’t start doing something today, we won’t be able to take over once the time comes,” she said.

nnorth@saanichnews.com