Duncan Junior council brings youth perspective

After three years serving as the junior mayor of Duncan, Jenni Capps’s term ended last week.

After three years serving as the junior mayor of Duncan, Jenni Capps’s term ended last week.

During her time in office, Capps, 23, said she has learned a lot about municipal politics and intends to make a run for a councillor seat in the Municipality of North Cowichan during the next election in 2018.

“I have always been interested in politics, and joining the junior council was a cool opportunity to get involved in initiatives that are geared toward young people in the community,” she said.

“It’s been a great experience. The elected councillors and mayor were very supportive and came to many of our meetings to help us learn the political system, and city staff were amazing with all their assistance.”

Duncan’s junior council started in its present form three years ago with the task of taking the concerns of young people in the Cowichan Valley to local governments.

Junior council is limited to people 25 years of age and under, and consists largely of current and former high school students. Junior councillors now serve two-year terms.

The other six members of the outgoing council are Chelsea George, Andrew McAully, Emma Kononowicz, Brittany Blouin, Raven Myren and Susannah Coons.

Recruitment for the new junior council will begin in the fall.

Capps is the owner of a small business called CruelTeaFree, which specializes in media production and consulting, and she has also worked as a youth counsellor and  a coffeehouse barista.

She said junior council worked on a number of worthwhile projects over the last year, including those dealing with social justice and environmental protection.

Capps said the council was given a budget of $3,000 from the City of Duncan for the first time this year to help pay for its many programs and initiatives.

“We’ve hosted river clean ups along with the Cowichan Watershed Board and started a street-harassment campaign in local schools after it was identified as a big concern among youth here,” she said.

“We held workshops with the students, put up flyers and held other activities related to the issue. It went really well. I’m not finished with politics yet, and I hope I’m successful in my second attempt to win a seat in North Cowichan in 2018.”

Michelle Staples is the city councillor from Duncan who has worked as a liaison between the regular and junior councils.

She said one of the most significant initiatives the junior council embarked on is the campaign for all committees and commissions in the area, both inside and outside the City of Duncan, to have youth members with full voting powers.

“The youth bring a different perspective and energy to these groups, and it even has positive impacts on the way the rest of the members of these committees and commissions interact with each other,” she said.

Staples said Duncan’s junior council also worked with the handful of other junior councils in the region at the last meeting of the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities in April.

They held workshops to bring a youth perspective, and explain what youth can contribute, to the annual gathering of municipal politicians on the Island.

“Those workshops were completely full,” Staples said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Martin Drakeley, North Cowichan’s manager of fire and bylaw services, says the municipality’s fire halls have responded to more fires than usual this spring. (File photo)
Dry weather, wind leads to more brushfires this spring in North Cowichan

‘Be safe. Be fire smart. Be situationally aware.’

This Earth Day, Cowichan Valley residents are being asked to clean up where they are. (File photo)
Cowichan ‘Clean Where You Are’ campaign starts on Earth Day

Take a bag, one glove, long tongs, and go pick up!

City of Duncan considering an average 3.51 per cent tax increase for 2021. (File photo)
Duncan considers average 3.51% tax increase for 2021

Homeowners would see a $43 increase over last year

North Cowichan councillor Kate Marsh. (File photo)
North Cowichan postpones decision on cell tower placement

But cell tower policy may be developed soon

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

Most Read