In episode 20 of The Public Circle Podcast (and the final episode of the “first season”), I chat with Hunter Lastiwka.
Hunter recently graduated from my alma mater Stelly’s Secondary. He is an incredibly active young man on a variety of issues which impact him and his peers.
I first met Hunter a few years ago. Following my election, he approached me to assist him in bringing a proposal to the BC NDP government to set up a youth council. Unfortunately, neither the Premier’s office nor the Minister of Education picked up the opportunity he was offering. He organized a few meetings with local youth in my constituency office but we were not able to pull together a consistent local youth council initiative either.
Hunter is a powerful advocate on climate change and has worked to increase participation amongst youth in our democratic processes. Another issue he has been particularly active on is transit. I regularly visit the three high schools in Saanich North and the Islands and know access to public transportation to be a high priority for youth. For many, it is the only mode of transportation available to get them to school, work and beyond.
After polling his classmates and gathering the data, Hunter began his advocacy in favour of fare-free transit. His goal is to increase ridership and as a result decrease congestion on our streets. He makes a compelling case and I hope his initiative gains traction.
In addition to transit, Hunter and I discuss the initiative to allow 16 year-olds to vote in elections, I think you will be impressed by his thoughtful response. Now he has finished high school we talk about what is up next in his life.
As I’ve been saying all along, I am having a lot of fun producing this podcast. I’m learning a tonne along the way. Up until recently, this has really just been recorded, loosely produced and published. However, recently I am learning how to actually engineer a better sounding product and in the process I am even beginning to cobble together my own recording equipment.
I’ve now reached 20 episodes with only one missing week in the past five months. With that accomplishment behind me, I’m going to take a bit of a break and record a few more episodes to get “season two” rolling. The Public Circle Podcast will be back in September. Until then, I hope you enjoy my conversation with Hunter Lastiwka.