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Do Courtenay’s Kids Want More Diversity on Council?

Young Gen Z was excited to be part of the democratic process

Courtenay’s kids would have made one big change

The votes are in, and we’ve got election results! Both from the adults of Courtenay, and from your kids as well.

So, how far does the apple really fall from the tree?

In the case of our city, not too far at all.

The votes of the student body vs the votes cast in the real election are almost identical, with a couple of notable exceptions.

Both students and the general population chose to re-elect Mayor Bob Wells by a pretty significant margin. They also voted to re-elect the majority of last term’s council.

Wells commented on the group’s success. He attributes it to the work they’ve been able to do in the past few years.

“We’ve been able to accomplish a whole lot, even in the face of COVID. I think it was having a lot of people at the table that come from diverse backgrounds but want to work together. That’s all I was looking for, and I think the electorate really gave that to the city,” Wells told Comox Valley News.

The general election only added one new face to council, replacing long-time incumbent Manos Theos with an energetic new voice from Evan Jolicoeur.

The kids, however, picked two new faces to add to the roster. And, interestingly, they placed one of them high above all their other candidate choices.

In their version of the council, they also elected David Frisch, with 145 votes, Doug Hillian with 133, Will Cole-Hamilton with 157, and Wendy Morin with 131 votes.

However, the students chose two different candidates to round out council. They elected Mayor Starr Winchester, who garnered 146 student votes, and long-time community member and contributor Jin Lin.

While Jin Lin was not elected to council in reality, in the student vote, she outperformed all other candidates. She finished the student election with 191 votes in her favour.

Jin Lin was the only person of colour to run for Courtenay’s city council this election. The kid’s choices may show a preference for bringing a more diverse background to the table in the future. Kids in the Valley are also keen on climate action.

One thing is for certain, kids don’t stay kids for long. In the next four years, a lot of these students’ votes will count for real.