The Youth Encouraging Lasting Leadership (YELL) Youth Council hosted the seventh annual All Candidates Forum on April 11 at the Chestermere Rec Centre, which allowed for residents to see all of their potential representatives in one place.
“It went well. Everyone had an opportunity to ask their questions and have them answered,” said Synergy Team Leader Coralee McIntosh.
“The crowd was great and very receptive to the candidates. It was great to see so many people come out, support YELL Youth Council, and to learn about the candidates,” McIntosh said.
The YELL Youth Councils goal for the All Candidates Forum was to provide an opportunity for the community to meet with the candidates, ask questions, and learn about their platforms.
“It’s an opportunity for the candidates to connect with young leaders in the riding and learn about the issues from a youth perspective,” McIntosh said.
Hosting the All Candidates Forum is significant for the YELL Youth Council for multiple reasons McIntosh added. Such as introducing youth to the election process and the political parties in the area, along with giving back to the community.
Not only was the All Candidates Forum an opportunity for the community to meet the candidates leading up to the election and ask questions to make a more informed decision when voting, but it was also a chance for the youth to practice their leadership skills in front of the community.
General curiosity brought Chestermere-Strathmore riding resident Ken Gabert out to the All Candidates Forum.
“I already had a candidate in mind that I was going to support, but I wanted to hear what the other candidates had to say,” Gabert said.
McIntosh hopes that residents left the All Candidates Forum with a better understanding of the candidates and have a clear sense of how they will vote.
Throughout the evening, a highlight for McIntosh was watching the YELL Youth Council members as leaders.
The All Candidates Forum has been successful in the past due to the commitment and dedication of YELL Youth Council and the many volunteers and partners that make the event happen, McIntosh said.
She added the forum is one of the larger panels in the area and has been fortunate to have a great turnout from the candidates and the community.
“It gets better each year, the youth do an amazing job stepping up, and they enjoy the opportunity to meet all of the candidates and put this on for the community,” McIntosh said.
“They represent YELL Youth Council, the youth population of the community and Synergy very well. They are incredibly dedicated, professional young people,” she added.