Published Monday April 27th, 2009
A group of budding entrepreneurs and community leaders hopes the provincial government can help it launch a youth forum in the province this fall.
New Brunswick members of Junior Team Canada met with Premier Shawn Graham over the weekend in Saint John, looking to sell him on the idea of a local conference of young leaders.
Keiller Zed said the idea is to join Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador in hosting a provincial gathering of Junior Team Canada members.
The national organization, open to those between 16 and 25, promotes youth entrepreneurship and leadership.
Zed, 18, is one of eight members in New Brunswick.
The group, run by Global Vision, also participates in international trade missions so members can promote businesses in their home provinces.Since 1991 the group has travelled to five continents and 22 countries on trade and development missions. This summer the group will travel to Mexico and Peru.
Zed, son of former Saint John Liberal MP Paul Zed, recently attended Junior Team Canada’s national forum in Toronto.
He said the New Brunswick forum would be a smaller version of that event: with guest speakers and a focus on community development.
For example, while in Toronto the group sold daffodils for the Canadian Cancer Society.
“We also did some presentations on what we can do to help our provinces economically – things we can do together to help tomorrow,” Zed said.
“It’s about coming up with ideas and putting them into action.”
Following their meeting, Graham said he was struck by the group’s dedication to the province.
Graham also said he’d help fund the youth forum, though wouldn’t reveal a dollar amount.
“I was very, very impressed with the commitment that these young New Brunswickers have toward our province,” he said.
“I have to say they made a pretty convincing argument on why New Brunswick should host such a forum. And we’ll find a (way) to make it happen.”
Graham said he expects about 100 young New Brunswickers to participate in the youth forum.