Photos by April Lundy and Bethany Kluke
Grade 7 and 8 Geography students from St. John Bosco School attended Madawaska Valley Council to witness municipal government in action on November 19. Their teacher, Ms. Jordan Norris, explained that their presence at the Council meeting was the result of a class project.
She said the students were asked to identify landuse groups in the Village of Barry’s Bay such as commercial, residential and recreational landuses. Each student analysed what issues existed in a particular group and sent a written proposal to MV Council suggesting ways the issues could be addressed. They invited members of Council to meet with them at the school to discuss their letters.
Councillor Bromwich tells Council how the young people impressed him and Councillor Archer.
Councillors Elser Lee Archer and Carl Bromwich visited the students on October 26. Both Councillors were impressed by the young people’s obvious concern about what makes a community livable. They promised to include the students’ suggestions at an upcoming Council meeting. At the November 19 meeting, Mayor Kim Love introduced the proposals by saying, “The next item of correspondence is a big one.” The eighteen letters included a variety of concerns:
- removal of goose feces at the public beach
- improvements to recreational facilities and trails
- introduction of public transport
- conservation of wildlife habitat
- encouraging a better mix of commercial enterprises
After the meeting, the students told The Current how they felt about engaging with members of Council:
I am really happy that we reached out to them and that they spent their time reading our letters. I just hope that they have the means to do something about our concerns. We are so thankful that we were invited to the Town Hall Meeting and that we got to experience what happens during a Council Meeting.
I thought it was so nice that Elser Lea Archer said we were critical thinkers because we worked hard on this project. I was hoping to see a more concrete action plan. I understand that may take time though.
— Stephanie Goodyear
I was so surprised that the council took our ideas into consideration! It’s not everyday you get an invitation to Town Council and get to hear how they are using our ideas to help the town. It is so special.
— Skylar Brotton
Students in the public gallery at MV Council Chambers
It is so great they took our ideas into consideration and I really hope that they will actually do something about the problems at the public beach. I understand that this is costly, however our health and safety are far more important than other amenities that money is being spent on.
— Anonymous Student
The students who attended the meeting were happy to pose for a group photoby The Current.
(From left) Ms. Jordan Norris (Gr. 7/8 teacher), Makayla Chaput, Stephanie Goodyear, Avery Etmanskie, Kaden Currins, April Lundy, Bethany Kluke. (Front row from left) Mackenzie Levean, Skylar Brotton, Sawyer Smith.