Mayoral candidates questioned on youth issues

By Staff

Morinville – A youth empowerment philosophy became the topic of discussion during Wednesday’s Morinville and District Chamber of Commerce all-candidates forum. During the question period, Morinville’s mayoral candidates were asked if they were aware of the 40 Developmental Assets philosophy being championed in local schools and by CORELyncs and if planned to support the program.

The philosophy looks at strengthening 40 key assets that supporters believe help turn youth into confident and well-rounded, contributing adults.

Both mayoral candidates Joseph Trapani and Lloyd Bertschi expressed their admiration for the program.

“I’m a big person, Italian background and a big family guy,” Trapani said. “So how do we make our family grow and get our different ideas out there? This is an excellent program – 40 different issues that we can do for our community to build our future leaders in the town.”

Trapani said his two biggest focuses are kids and seniors. The mayoral candidate said as mayor he would like to see a youth council or youth committee made up of people from high school age up to the age of 21.

“We have university students in town and they have issues, too,” Trapani said. “We’ll do two things – make them leaders of our future and help them stay in this town.

Bertschi told attendees that he had sat on the founding committee of CORELyncs, which has morphed into the 40 Developmental Assets philosophy.

“I think it’s a tremendous program that’s engaged the schools,” Bertschi said, noting that as Mayor he has had the opportunity to see the benefits of the philosophy in action. “At G.H. Primeau last year there was a 73 per cent celebration. Seventy-three per cent of the students there had celebrated success, including a healthy lifestyle. And it’s based on these developmental assets.”

Bertschi said as part of his campaign, he had set up a FaceBook page and through the page he had been asked what he was going to do for Morinville’s youth. The incumbent said he proposed a mayor’s task force for youth and has already received considerable interest from Morinville’s young people to participate.

“I think we’ve got a new committee that’s going to be quite large to start with,” Bertschi said. “It is incredibly important to develop our youth.”

Under Bertschi and Trapani’s administration Morinville has already embraced the philosophy through a positive ticketing program through the Morinville RCMP and Morinville Protective Services.

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