Owen Sound Election 2018

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youth askYouth Ask Grey Bruce has released video interviews with candidates running for Owen Sound City Council. The grassroots collective received a grant from the Laidlaw Foundation to engage youth in the municipal election process. Throughout September, they collected question submissions from people aged 29 and younger who live work and study in Owen Sound. The organizers chose six representative questions and invited all candidates running for council, deputy-mayor, and mayor to film responses up to two minutes in length. Fourteen candidates filmed responses. Those videos are now available on Youth Ask Grey Bruce’s Facebook Page and will be uploaded to their You Tube channel over the coming days.

“We’re happy so many of the candidates chose to participate in our project,” said Dylan Chauvin-Smith one of the co-organizers and lead videographer. “We chose this format because it makes it easy for viewers to compare the different candidates as they’re all on a level playing field. Most of all, I’m happy with the questions posed by local youth because they displayed thoughtfulness and real engagement with the issues facing the city,” he added.

The candidates were asked:

1. In your opinion, what is the best quality you bring to the table to represent our town, if you are elected?

2. What community-building initiatives have you been involved with in the past?

3. How do you plan to bring more people to the area, especially young people who will stay for future generations?

4. What is your plan to clean up the Owen Sound harbour and waterfront to make it safe and sustainable?

5. What role, if any, do you think Owen Sound City Council has in dealing with the opioid crisis hitting our community?

6. The number of city committees was decreased during the last term but committees are a key way to engage the public for their opinions and feedback. Would you consider increasing opportunities for public participation in council decision making? If so, how?

The municipal video engagement project is the second organized by Youth Ask Grey Bruce. The collective also organized a youth issues focused all-candidates meeting ahead of the provincial election in June. Recordings from that event gathered almost 4,000 views online ahead of the election.

“We believe that everyone benefits when more people are engaged in the political system,” said Jon Farmer, one of the Youth Ask Grey Bruce co-organizers. “But there are barriers to engaging with municipal politics, especially for younger people. We wanted to do something that would make it easier for local youth to learn about the candidates and that would introduce the candidates to youth issue in the process. Now it’s up to our neighbours to watch the videos,” Farmer added.

Voting in the Owen Sound municipal election opens on October 12th and closes on October 22nd. Constituents can vote online or by phone. The City of Owen Sound website has all election details at www.owensound.ca/en/election-2018.aspx

source: media release, Youth Ask Grey Bruce

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