Fernie has some high-ranking politicians living locally, with local student Aislinn Dressler acting as Minister for the Southern Interior in the B.C. Youth Parliament (BCYP) for much of the next year.
Dressler, 17, was the City of Fernie’s youth councillor over 2019-2020, and was part of the previous session of the BCYP – and since then she’s been honing her political skills and getting stuck into civics.
“While B.C. Youth Parliament can attract politically-minded people to the organization, I was mainly interested in applying because BCYP promotes civic literacy and community service,” she said, adding that given her interests were in public service, her role model was none other than the most visible public servant in B.C. over the last 12 months – Dr. Bonnie Henry.
Dressler was appointed Minister for the Southern Interior last September, and will be holding the position until August this year.
“My priorities as Minister of the Southern Interior are the same as that of the B.C. Youth Parliament, to serve youth and people in our communities as well as promote civic literacy. I also want to promote community among members of the Southern Interior,” said Dressler.
The BCYP had a session in late December, from the 27th to the 31st, with members joining in virtually (much like the actual B.C. parliament) – a feature Dressler said was “unique.”
“It was a very interesting experience as we were fortunate enough to use the official Legislature zoom,” said Dressler.
“This gave all of us a once-in-a-lifetime experience and gave members like me more insight into how members of the B.C. Legislature currently participate in Parliament. In addition, due to the virtual nature, we were able to have some amazing greetings from people all across Canada. Dr. Bonnie Henry was even our Lieutenant Governor!”
In her role, Dressler helps coordinate events in the Southern Interior region, attends cabinet meetings and works with other ministers in the BCYP.
City of Fernie’s Youth Councillor program must be addictive, as the current Youth Councillor, Sasha Kelleher has also joined the BC Youth Parliament for this year.
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