By Melissa Heald
Jan. 15, 2014
The first city council meeting of the new year in Charlottetown saw the return of council pages as two high school students sat on either side of Mayor Clifford Lee Jan. 13.
Lisa MacBain, the coordinator of the program, said the program would serve as a good way to expose young people to how municipal government works and to offer assistance to the council.
“It’s just a way to hopefully keep the councillors in their seats and attending to business and have somebody go do the photocopying, distribute documents and get refreshments.”
MacBain said the council had used pages in the past, modeled after the page program in the P.E.I. Legislature and the court clerks, and the program was renewed for this year as part of the 2014 celebrations.
To the find the students, they went to the principals of schools and consulted with teachers and guidance counsellors and only sought out interested students, said MacBain.
Colonial Gray Grade 11 student Nick Scott is one of the students taking part in the program. He heard about the program from the coordinator of his politics club at his school and thought it was just an interesting way into municipal politics.
Scott said he thought his first council meeting was interesting.
“They seem to generally care (the councillors) about the people and about their problems and concerns.”
Almothanna Karfoul was the other student page present at the meeting.
The Grade 10 student from the Ecole Francois Buote said he’s always up for new experiences.
“My guidance counsellor told me about the program and I thought why not try it and learn some new stuff.”
MacBain said at the moment the page program is just a year project but at the end of the year they will review the program to see if they will continue with it.