Young leaders vital to district

A story that was printed in Monday’s Bulletin, “Young people looking for younger leaders,” noted that young people across the United States are looking for a generational change in leadership.
A poll conducted found that young people are looking for younger leaders who share their aspirations and political beliefs. More women today are running for office in the United States than ever before.
Youth did not look favorably on candidates who were life-long politicians.
Across the United States, there has been a dramatic change in young people becoming actively involved in elections.
This year in Fort Frances and across Rainy River District, many first-time candidates have put their names on the ballots for councils and board trustees. Many are from the Millennial generation.
It is wonderful that the next generation is becoming active in their community’s government, especially since this next four years will have to create a fundamental change in our district.
The district that has long been dependent on wood fibre first to meet the needs of the Shevlin-Clarke saw mill and Mathieu saw mall in Fort Frances and the Beaver Mills saw mill in Rainy River gave way to the Ontario Minnesota Pulp and Paper Company mill in Fort Frances.
For over a century, wood fibre was the lifeblood of the district.
The large sawmills disappeared and today two small sawmills exist in the district. Tenders to tear down the kraft mill and paper mill in Fort Frances can be expected at any time.
Important economic decisions will have to be evaluated by councils. Opportunities for the properties abandoned by the mill will have to be reviewed and considered.
The council of Fort Frances will have only a short window to make decisions. Similarly, in Alberton, La Vallee and Emo, councillors will have to struggle with the changes in the economy.
In Emo, several younger citizens are running for positions on council.
In Fort Frances there are eight candidates running for six positions. One candidate is an incumbent; two candidates have held the office before and five are first-time candidates. Several are less than 40 years old.
The young candidates seeking office will be valuable for the district. They will bring new ideas and offer fresh insight to opportunities that already exist or may be created in the future.
Those first two years of being a councillor will require a great deal of learning for newly-elected members of councils.
Even those who may have previously held office will find many changes in expectations and legislative changes in their short absence from office.
They will have to depend on their municipals leadership team to provide them with all the information and guidance that is required to make decisions.
The youth of the council will be considering their futures in the community. Older members of council will have to dream the dreams of younger constituents.
These new councils in the Fort and Emo will begin the generational change sought by the youth of Canada.

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