There’s been much talk over the years, and indeed during this recent election about attracting young families to Sicamous.
Focus on this matter tends to be on jobs and services. What businesses or industry can we attract to the community that will appeal to and retain families? Hand in hand with this are the services the community currently offers, from medical facilities to year-round opportunities for sport, amusement and learning. Clearly, there’s a lot of work to do on both fronts.
What has been lacking big time in this municipal campaign, however, is an actual effort to include Sicamous’ youth population. Saying we’ll do something for them isn’t the same as actually including them in the dialogue.
Is it worth the effort? As is the case in any small town, the first thing many teens want to do after graduation is get the heck out of Dodge. But nostalgia is a powerful thing, and today’s youth are sometimes the first people who would consider returning home with their own families in later years, provided there’s opportunity present. They are tomorrow’s taxpayers, and the ones who will be providing the essential services down the road.
That doesn’t mean Sicamous youth are not a vital component of the community today. They have needs, as do we all. But they also have ideas and opinions that cannot be dismissed just because they may lack the wisdom of years.
Sicamous has had two all-candidates meetings so far, both held at the seniors centre, and one of these meetings was intended largely for the benefit of the community’s seniors.
Why not try holding an all-candidates meeting, or at least a mayoral candidates forum, at Eagle River Secondary, and let Sicamous’ potential future have an opportunity to question candidates and make known their issues and concerns.
Including Sicamous youth in today’s political process might be one of the wisest investments we can make in the future of the community.