Erin Knight from Gilbert Plains has been appointed to the Prime Minister’s youth council.
Knight is an advisor to the Prime Minister and Government of Canada. They attend 2 or 3 in-person meetings every year. Officials and communities come and discuss certain topics with them. The youth council then suggests directions for policies and how it’ll affect youth across the country.
It was quite the process for Knight to beat out over 1000 other applicants and get appointed.
“It starts with a written application where you go through your resume, and you go through some of the community endeavours that you’ve undertaken. From there, they select people to go onto a video interview, they post questions and you answer them in a virtual environment. From there, they review your video answers and ask you to submit your resume. From there, they then shortlist about 25 candidates. Then those 25 are reviewed by the Prime Minister and he chooses as many as he wants but he chose 8 this time.”
She recently had her first meeting in Iqaluit, Nunavut.
“It was incredible! It was the first time I’d been to the north. It’s just a really different environment. So for that first kind of experience being in the youth council, I think being so removed from my kind of normal everyday life was a way to plunge deep into it.”
In Iqaluit, the youth council talked about food insecurity, indigenous language revitalization, indigenous tourism, economies in the north, infrastructure, and oceans in the north. Justin Trudeau met up with their group, had lunch and spent half the day with them. They had breakout sessions and a round table discussion about policy issues with him.
Knight wants to emphasize her role on the council extends from her passion for rural development and rural Canada.
“When I speak to officials and when I speak to the PM, I’m speaking from that perspective. So, I’m always emphasizing consultations with rural people and I’m always emphasizing how it’s going to impact people in rural Canada, especially my home community and people in the Parkland. You’re always at the forefront of my mind when I’m talking about these issues.”
Knight thinks the consultation process she goes through on the youth council and public policymaking process are things she’s going to be able to take into her future.