North Bay City Council has approved the creation of a task force to be comprised exclusively of citizens age 18 to 30.

There was unanimous backing to seek interest in forming the Next Generation Task Force, a concept tabled by Coun. Mike Anthony and seconded by Coun. Scott Robertson. Both had planks in their respective election campaigns suggesting this sort of group is an important way to keep young people and the next generation of municipal leaders engaged in matters that affect life in North Bay. Anthony and Robertson would serve on the advisory committee for the group.

Anthony says it is an ideal way to engage young professionals in North Bay. We are looking for “young people to give some feedback, some advice, some things we should consider,” as a Council and city.

With the nod from Council to proceed, the next few months will be spent gauging interest from those young professionals, although Anthony says he has been in contact with potential candidates involved with a similar group from the Chamber of Commerce and from both Canadore College and Nipissing University.

Ultimately, Anthony says the purpose is to find out, “What they think would help the city.” He adds “this is one of the most engaged generations I’ve ever seen. They have grown up with more power in the palm of their hand than NORAD had during the Cold War. I want to capitalize on their ideas and see if there’s some of them we can work into the city.”

Newcomer Robertson campaigned heavily on putting to work the findings of the Baylor Report and community engagement is one of his frequent talking points. Asked what sort of direction he would hope for from the task force, he replied, “That’s totally up to them. I think that’s the idea, is that we have to be listeners here and let them direct this task force on their own. We’ll take that feedback and see what we can do to help them.”