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Youth in community are its future


I visited the five communities in the Pictou region this spring when I was invited to deliver my “13 Ways to Kill Your Community” address. I loved the visit and quickly realized there is an incredible amount of potential that simply needs to be unleashed.

I personally admit that I thought the proposed amalgamation would be a way to get all the municipalities working together quickly. However, amalgamation is but one tool. There remain many opportunities for better co-operation to secure the future of the region, and I am sure you are already working on plans for that.

Every week our team does an environmental scan of communities around North America to find samples of destructive attitudes that can lead to failure for that community. I was shocked to read the Donald B. MacKenzie letter in this paper, Sept. 29. I have an entire chapter in my book on how bad attitudes chase away youth, but I have never seen such a striking and overt example of it. To demonize a group of youth for expressing their opinion, and for being passionate about their future, may get them to shut up. For Mr. MacKenzie to expressly belittle and chastise them publicly for continuing to be involved in their future and their community’s future is sure to make them leave, to go somewhere they are appreciated, listened to and respected.

Make no mistake, the youth of your community is its future. If folks like that drive them out with such attitudes, the future of your community will leave with them. The communities that fought about amalgamation should now come together to fight for their future, not against it and each other. The citizens of the region, the province and our nation needs a prosperous Pictou region. I hope the bullying stops and a focus on turning potential into prosperity begins.

Doug Griffiths

President and CEO – 13 Ways, Inc.

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