by Sandra Hollingsworth.
In a short three months, the enhancements that have taken place are impressive. Those visiting the ship will notice fresh exterior paint with the restored yellow trim, increased number of visitors, film production, weddings, new interactive displays that enhance the overall experience and a new board comprising of young individuals. This grand lady has a new spirt.
Today the argument is not about saving or not saving the Norgoma, but allowing the new board which is comprised of young people between the ages of 25 to 40, some time to prove that there could be a positive future for the ship. City Council should not squash the enthusiasm of young people that are passionate about a community cause, instead embrace and support their interest.
Isn’t council trying to engage young people in solving community issues? The purpose of the “Community Adjustment” report approved by City Council in the spring was to develop a multifunctional plan for the broader community as a whole. Within the plan it clearly states that the mandate is to “stop the bleeding” or “exiting” of the city’s young and listen to their ideas. Council has stated often that the young people of the community should play a role in shaping the future of the city and encourage their participation in solutions. Therefore, if this is a value and belief of council, an extension of one year should be granted to allow the new young board to continue with the improvements, carry out their vision and finish their strategic plan. Discounting the hard work and creative ideas of this group may result in a negative backfire. Instead of discouraging, council should encourage the future generation. Not showing support may prevent them from deepening their roots further into the community.
Not allowing the young board to complete the strategic plan and vision sends an improper message. The message, not intentionally, is that the opinion, efforts, and energy of the young really does not matter. Is this what Council wants to be known for? Providing an extension is not about saving the Norgoma, but allowing the young Board of Directors to speak. Before the final judgement is served and their voice is silenced, let’s watch carefully what unbelievable possibilities could happen.
For more information contact:
City Councillor Ward 2