Cerantola plan for strengthening families
News release from Gary Cerantola – September 16 2010
Gary Cerantola Councillor Candidate for Wasaga Beach advocates for a program
that will strengthen families and improve outcomes for children and youth as part
of his Triple Bottom Line Platform (Social, Environmental, and Economical) for
the Town of Wasaga Beach
As Wasaga Beach grows, social problems will become more evident. In my
triple bottom line platform approach to Town Council (Social, Environmental and
Economical Responsibility) it has become more aware to me that we need to
take a proactive approach to strengthen our families and improve the outcomes
for our children and youth. It is no secret that the provincial government is in an
effort to push social programs down to municipal governments to improve the
province’s financial position.
I believe it would make good sense to adopt an approach to head off any future
burdens that may arise that could take up a lot of municipal resources.
When families fail, children – our next generation of citizens, workers, and leaders
– all too often fail as well. We see the toll of family failure in higher rates of child
poverty, child abuse, school failure, and a host of related societal problems. And
we know that it takes significant efforts to reverse the damage to children when
families cannot support and nurture them.
Many of the highest costs of family failure land squarely on the doorsteps of
taxpayers, as spending for public safety, education, and human services rise and
the strength of the local workforce and economy is undermined.
The National League of Cities’ Council on Youth, Education, and Families in the
US worked throughout 2005 to develop a platform or agenda for municipal action
and leadership on behalf of children, youth, and their families. I believe this would
be a good model to explore. This platform does not represent a catalog of
everything that municipal leaders can or should do to strengthen families and
prevent family failures. Rather, it provides starting points for municipal action –
practical steps that every city and town can take to build stronger families and
improve outcomes for its children and youth.
Wasaga Beach must have a structure, mechanism, or process for carrying out
each of four essential tasks that strengthen families, improve outcomes for
children and youth, and sustain the community’s efforts over time:
1. Identify needs, opportunities, and priorities for future action through a town
commission, mayor’s task force, or other group that brings together leaders from
the public, private, and non-profit sectors as well as parents and other community
2. Promote effective town-school collaboration through regular meetings between
the mayor and/or town council, school board, and school superintendent that
focus on shared priorities and the development of joint plans of action.
3. Encourage and support youth voice, engagement, and leadership through a
mayor’s youth council, appointment of youth to municipal boards and
committees, and/or community-wide youth summits.
4. Measure progress over time through the use of a community “scorecard” or
set of benchmarks that tracks key outcomes and places them within the context
of a broader report on the status of children, youth
If elected I will propose and advocate for a program that will strengthen families
and improve outcomes for children and youth.
Source: A City Platform for Strengthening Families and Improving Outcomes for
Children and Youth