MONTREAL, Sept. 11, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The Conseil jeunesse de Montréal (CjM) has issued a notice entitled CITÉ jeune, participe!, outlining the civic responsibilities of young Montrealers.
Deeply concerned by the drop in electoral participation by young people, the members of the CJM have spent the past few months tackling this issue, which, in light of the pending municipal election, represents a major problem. « Although marking an "X" or shading in a box may seem like a mundane gesture, these actions take on a whole new meaning when carried out in a polling booth. It is all too often reported that youths aged 18-30 do not vote, and are often marginalized in civic matters. Accordingly, the CjM decided to propose a few ideas to support the increased political and civic participation of young people », explained CjM president, Michael Ryan Wiseman.
« It has been a decade since Ville de Montréal created a dialogue dynamic with its youths, and excellent collaboration has ensued. Backed by this model, I invite young Montrealers to come out in large numbers and in all ways possible. We need successors who are informed, cultivated, and engaged so as to ensure that Montréal reinforces its leadership position! » added the Vice-Chair of the Executive Committee and Youth Director, Émilie Thuillier.
Civic participation by youths: a major hurdle
The CjM elaborated on this notice, devised with the objective of describing the situation and formulating proposals adapted to the Montréal reality. It outlines the key concepts and paints a portrait of the political participation of young people.
The notice also presents the results of a survey conducted among 700 respondents, enabling opinions and suggestions to be collected to support the democratic participation of young Montrealers with respect to municipal concerns.
The CjM is cognizant of the fact that Ville de Montréal supports a number of initiatives that nurture civic participation. Nonetheless, numerous obstacles have been identified including limited knowledge relating to the electoral system, as well as to the machinations of the municipal infrastructure.
The journey is long between intent and actual participation. Young people need to acquire competencies, which can require coaching in order to comprehend the municipal structure. The notice issued today presents 15 recommendations aimed at removing obstacles to the civic participation process. Six of these relate to political participation and strive to promote the acquisition and cultivation of the desire of Montreal youths to engage in civic participation by means of events aimed at promoting awareness of the issues, and through the amendment of municipal polling mechanisms. Also proposed is the implementation of a democratic awareness exercise inspired by City Hall School initiated by the City of Calgary, which will encourage a better understanding of municipal issues.
The nine other recommendations relate to democratic and social participation. For instance, they emphasize the adoption of user-friendly formulas for public youth consultations, the creation of seats allocated for youths on boards of directors within municipal and extra-municipal entities as recommended by the Stratégie jeunesse montréalaise, and the implementation of a rapid response mechanism within the Executive Committee when tabling the recommendations of an advisory board (standing committees, advisory council, etc.).
About the Conseil jeunesse de Montréal
The Conseil jeunesse de Montréal is mandated to advise the Mayor and the Executive Committee on all issues relating to youths aged 12 to 30, and is responsible for ensuring that the concerns of young people are taken into consideration in the decisions made by Municipal Administration.
To read the notice and obtain more information on the CjM's initiatives and activities, visit www.cjmtl.com.
SOURCE: Conseil jeunesse de Montréal
For further information:
Conseil jeunesse de Montréal