When is the municipal election? What are the big issues? Who’s running for Council? Who will be on the ballot? Why are less than 17 per cent of Council candidates women? What do School Trustees do anyway?
These are some of the questions up for discussion this fall at the Prince Edward Learning Centre (PELC).
Labour Day marks not only the beginning of a new school year but also the unofficial kick-off of election season in Prince Edward County and, as part of their commitment to lifelong learning for all community members, PELC has launched a voter education project called “Municipal Mondays”.
PELC has invited all candidates running in the Municipal Election on October 22 to introduce themselves to learners and talk a little about why they are running for office and their plans for the community.
“We know a lot of people don’t participate at election time and less than 44 per cent of eligible County electors voted in 2014. We hear from community members they don’t know enough about the issues or the people running to make an informed choice and we hope this project will help to make the connection between voters and the candidates,” said PELC Director Kathy Kennedy.
The Monday sessions provide an opportunity for candidates to introduce themselves, hear from community members and for participants to ask questions, discuss their concerns and increase their civic knowledge.
The PELC is also a member of the “Greater Than” collective, a local youth project tasked with improving graduation rates in Prince Edward County.
“When compared to input from across the country, we know that young people in the county feel less integrated in the community, have lower levels of civic participation and feel less control over local decision making,” added Greater Than Youth Ambassador, Ashley Watson. “Youth empowerment is a key focus of our project. For young people to participate, they need a chance to understand how local, community decisions are made”.
So far, a dozen candidates have agreed to participate in the Municipal Mondays project. All County residents are invited to come out to join PELC learners at 97 Main Street (in the Sobey’s Plaza, next door to McDonalds) on Mondays this fall from 11am-12pm.
To get more information, or if you have questions or wish to participate, please call PELC at 613-476-1811.