Councillor Hopes Province Engages Young Voters

The Chair of Youth Advisory Committee says he's personally supportive of lowering the voting age but still has serious reservations and questions.

Liberal MPP Arthur Potts is putting forth a private members bill that Ontario lowers the voting age from to 18 to 16.

Councillor Leigh Bursey says without the proper resources behind the initiative, there's a chance it may fail young voters themselves.

"It's a great time to have the discussion, I just personally would have liked it to have seen it happen from the government itself and not necessarily from a private member," he says. "Is this just going to be a failed experiment that now the government says 'now we can prove that young people don't care,' because that would be really devastating."

He would like the government to start with educating and engaging voters at a younger age.

"I would like to see more young people start at the local volunteer committee level, where their participating in more of the civic affairs that we're currently talking about," Bursey explains. "As opposed to merely giving them a vote without encouraging to understand why their votes important."

He says there's lots these days for voters to be engaged over - from child protection laws, to education and marijuana legislation - but doesn't see many engaged youth at the age of 16.