By John Ployer
Brooks Roach with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (submitted)
For UPEI student Brooks Roche advocacy is nothing new, but these days he has taken his work to the highest levels.
Brooks Roche, originally from Montague, currently works to forward youth issues as a member of the Prime Minister’s Youth Council, along with studying at UPEI.
Brooks described the Prime Minister’s Youth Council as being a non-partisan advisory council to the federal government.
“It’s to bridge the gap between young people and the federal government,” he said.
Just 18 out of some 20,000 applicants were invited to join the council. The council uses region, background, and various other “lived experiences” to choose members which best reflect the diversity seen in young Canadians.
The people chosen to join the council are best described as “young people who have consistently made a positive impact.”
Applicants serve two-year terms though virtual and in-person meetings as well as the various projects council members take upon themselves.
Brooks only joined the committee in July, finding himself immediately invited to his first meeting later that month in Iqaluit.
“It was a very dynamic meeting, and it culminated with a meeting with the Prime Minister himself,” he said, adding that one of the biggest priorities at that meeting was issues facing Canada’s north.
Among the council’s biggest priority according to Brooks is climate action, youth engagement, and youth integration in Canadian life.
While now at the top of youth advocacy, Brooks is not new to trying to make a difference.
Brooks has been a lifelong advocate of those living with chronic disease, himself having one. He has advocated to all levels of government to help create a more inclusive world for those who live with disability.
One of Brooks’ personal projects is advocating to expand to scope of the disability tax credit to include more conditions.
“Right now there are diseases and conditions that would not immediately qualify for this credit,” he said.
Ultimately, Brooks says he is excited to see what he and the council can do over the next couple years, making it clear that the committee is working to amplify the voices of young Canadians.
“It’s a chance to be a microphone where you can absorb what issues young people are facing across Canada, and then reflect that to the federal government”