Youth Dialogues

By: Lindsay Mathieson
SNN Co-Editor
Port Hardy Secondary School
Port Hardy, BC

Rural youth dialogues will be held in small towns all over BC.

The forums, presented by Community Futures, allows youth aged 16-25 to voice their opinions on why young adults want to leave rural areas, as well as solutions why they should stay.

Students from PHSS attended the dialogue held on March 29 at North Island College and discussed solutions to keep youth in Port Hardy after graduation.

The youth brainstormed on many different reasons why they should move to a larger city after graduation; however, they narrowed it down to five major reasons. These five included the fact that Port Hardy does not have enough stable jobs, nor does it offer enough recreation programs and facilities. Also included in these reasons were Port Hardy’s isolated location, the social problems that afflict many Port Hardy residents and the lack of education opportunities both for secondary and post-secondary school.

The students and other young adults who attended the forum did not find many valid solutions to their reasons for leaving. They did, however, vote on the top five solutions. The youth wanted more courses offered at North Island College, lower taxes, a new recreational community hall, cheaper transportation rates (flight or bus) and a bus that travels throughout the North Island during the summer.

Port Hardy held the third youth dialogue in BC. Seven other rural communities will be participating for a total of ten towns. A report will then be drawn up incorporating the suggestions from youth from all ten towns and presented at the National Youth Conference in Quebec.