Toronto Star: Survey wants input from youth about the County’s future
From the Toronto Star, August 5, 2021
By Brian Lockhart
The Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition and the Simcoe County Environmental Youth Alliance have announced the launching of a survey intended for youth to gather input about the future of the region.
They are encouraging youth under the age of 25 to have their say about the communities they want.
The survey was released Monday, July 26, and will be open until the end of the summer.
The Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition Youth Engagement Lead, Kelly Gingrich, said the goal of this survey is to amplify youth voices and understand their priorities, barriers, and visions for the future.
“Youth face many barriers to participation in their community and in local politics,” Ms. Gingrich said. “They are often not taken seriously, and processes are often inaccessible and unwelcoming. With the results of this survey, we hope to bring more youth voices into local decision-making and planning.”
Another youth-led organization, the Sustainable Orillia Youth Council (SOYC) has welcomed this project, stating that “the Sustainable Orillia Youth Council thinks it is very important that youth voices are heard while planning the future of the county – this survey is an amazing way to give youth an opportunity to describe their vision for the future of Simcoe County and make their opinions heard!”.
The survey was planned due to Simcoe County, Orillia, and Barrie undergoing community planning that will forecast out until 2051 through Municipal Comprehensive Reviews (MCR). During the process, municipalities can adjust policies to protect farmland, address climate change, stop sprawl and focus on housing types that meet the needs of the communities.
This projection to 2051 also coincides with the 2050 climate targets of net-zero carbon emissions.