YAC Frequently Asked Questions

- General Information for Applicants
- Application for Youth Advisory Committee (YAC)
- Selection Process for Youth Advisory Committee (YAC)
- Information for Parents and Legal Guardians

GENERAL INFORMATION FOR APPLICANTS

Information for attending in-person meetings

What is the Youth Advisory Committee?

The Youth Advisory Committee is a team of 12 youth from across Halifax Regional Municipality who provide input to and advise HRM Council’s Executive Standing Committee. The YAC has a vital role advising HRM Council and Senior officials on youth issues, municipal policies and practices, and the relationship with the larger youth community. Volunteering at the Municipal level, each committee member will:
• Be available to attend each meeting
• Be active and responsible
• Work as part of a team to provide input on various municipal matters
• Commit to address and reduce youth identified barriers, as well as be advocates for youth issues

YAC members will achieve the above by:

❏ their participation in civic and community affairs by ensuring that policies, programs and services do not impose barriers that will make it more difficult for youth to participate
❏ increasing civic and community awareness regarding communities of youth between the ages of 15-24 years old, within the Municipality by promoting effective communication and conducting peer to peer engagements
❏ addressing and reducing barriers, as well as providing advice on youth issues
❏ making steps towards a more equitable opportunity for municipal youth communities to voice their views and preferences by offering an official perspective that will inform policies, programs and services.

What is the Executive Standing Committee?

The Executive Standing Committee of Council has seven members, including the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, and a representative of each of Council’s Standing Committees. A list of Standing Committees can be found here.

Who can apply?

Any youth who lives within the municipality and is between 15 -24 years old. 

The Youth Advisory Committee shall be comprised of up to twelve youth members. Two youth from the geographic boundaries of each Community Council, except the Regional Centre Community Council; and up to six youth at large. The Committee shall include youth from the following communities:

•    2SLGBTQ+ community
•    Disability community
•    Indigenous Mi’kmaq community
•    African Nova Scotian community
•    Francophone/Acadian communities
•    Newcomer communities

Please note that staff of HRM or its agencies, boards or, commissions (ABCs) are not eligible to apply for an HRM appointment, but they may be appointed on an ex-officio basis (by virtue of their position) to be given the right to attend and participate in discussion at meetings without being a member. Staff of HRM or its ABCs may be nominated by HRM to serve on external boards provided that this is within the eligibility requirements of the external board. In such circumstances, any honorarium paid for service on an external ABC shall be paid directly to HRM and not to the staff member.

Do I need to know the English language?

Yes. You will need be able to speak, write and comprehend English language.  Although the ability to speak more than one language is a huge benefit to our Municipality and the many communities that are bi/multi-lingual, we are still in the early stage of growing our capacity to be able to accommodate any language other than English.

What is the time commitment for members?

Committee members will serve two-year terms – September to June (school year).   They will attend face-to-face or virtual meetings once per month in the evening and be available to participate in professional development workshops and team building activities.

Where will the YAC meetings be held?

Meetings will be held at Power House, 1606 Bell Road, in Halifax; Halifax City Hall, 1841 Argyle Street; or virtually.  

Are members responsible for their own travel to the meetings?

No. Bus tickets will be provided.   If you are coming from an area without access to public transit, the municipality will cover your travel costs as well. Child care can be provided with advanced notice. 

What do I do If I can’t attend a meeting? 

Contact your Committee Chair or the Clerk’s Office representative. It is important to communicate if you are unable to attend a meeting so we can ensure enough members are present, or possibly reschedule the meeting if needed. 

Dress code?

Generally, it's dress casual for Youth Advisory Committee meetings.  If there is an interview or another formal setting, such as attending a meeting of the Executive Standing Committee, dressing up is a good idea for sure.

I am unsure what HRM is responsible for?

For a closer look at some of the Priority areas for the current Council, see the “2021-2025 Strategic Priorities Plan" document.  

What happens when there is a vacancy on the YAC? 

We will revisit the list of people who applied during the previous recruitment period, but were not appointed at that time, to fill the vacancy. 

Will there be a support person/people during our term?

Yes. The Parks and Recreation Youth Section and the Municipal Clerk’s Office will each have representatives available to support the YAC members and be present for every meeting.

What will happen at the monthly meetings?

Aside from setting a standard agenda for every meeting, YAC members will work to provide input on municipal matters that impact youth. As authentic partners with the Municipality, Committee members may take on various roles such as planners, advisors, researchers, respondents, facilitators, and presenters. Meetings may be a little different for each member depending on this.

Will I get paid to be a YAC member?

No. This is a voluntary appointment.   

APPLICATION FOR HALIFAX YOUTH ADVISORY COMMITTEE (YAC)

How do I apply?

During the open recruitment period, November 2 to December 6, 2022, by 11:59:59 p.m. complete the online application.   

The process includes 4 steps for you to complete:
1.    Read through the FAQ completely and carefully to understand the role and responsibilities of the YAC.
2.   Share and discuss your interest in applying with your caregiver (s), parents, legal guardians, and get consent (if needed).
3.   Complete the application.  
4.   Submit the completed application.

What is the deadline to submit? 

Applications open November 2 to December 6, 2022, by 11:59:59 p.m. There are no extensions so ensure you submit within the timeframe.

I already submitted my application before the deadline but I made a mistake, can I make changes to it?

No. There is no capacity for this yet and you can only submit one application, so take your time. If you are worried about this maybe write your answers in a place where you can continue to construct your responses before you start filling in the actual application. 

Is the application form downloadable? 

Not yet. Applicants for this round of YAC should make sure that you give yourself enough time to start and finish the application. There is no “save” option yet. 

How long will it take me to fill out the application? 

Take your time, be as specific as possible.  Plan to clear yourself a few hours to work on your application to make it the best you possibly can, and to make sure it speaks to who you are and what you represent. 

What if I live in a community that has little to no internet access or I don’t have access to a computer?

You can contact the Municipal Clerks Office by email (serve@halifax.ca) or phone 902-490-4210 to request an accommodation to the application process.

Can I put forward someone else’s name? 

No. Each interested person must fill out their own application.

Can I apply again another year? 

Yes, as long as you are under 25 before the application closing date.

SELECTION PROCESS FOR YOUTH ADVISORY COMMITTEE (YAC)

Will there be a receipt of application once I have submitted it on-line? 

No. If you want to check the status of your application, you can call the Municipal Clerk’s office at 902.490-4210 to check. 

What happens to my application once I submit it? 

Your application will be reviewed and screened by Municipal staff from the Youth Section, Municipal Clerks Office, and the Chief Administrator's Office after the deadline. The first level of screening will be to ensure you meet all of the eligibility criteria.

What is the general eligibility criteria?
• Meets age requirement (15-24). If you are still 24 while applications are open, you are eligible. 
• Resident of HRM 
• Application form completed and submitted
• Consent form must be completed if you are under 19
• Self-identified with one or more of the designated groups 
• Good understanding of the English language – writing, speaking, and comprehension 
• Can commit to a two-year term (Sept – June each year)

How will members be appointed once the applications are reviewed? 

Councillors will receive the applications that have been selected by the staff-selection panel. It is ultimately the decision of Council to decide if interviews will be conducted and which of the selected applicants will be appointed to the Committee. Be mindful that Council  is looking for applicants that are highly motivated and can demonstrate their interest in and capacity to achieve the objectives of eliminating barriers facing youth and providing a voice for youth communities regarding the effectiveness of the Municipality’s policies, programs and services. Qualities and skills also include: teamwork/personal effectiveness, strategic thinking and planning skills, critical thinking & problem solving. 

Will I be notified if my application is sent to Council as a potential YAC member?

Unfortunately, not. You will be notified via email once decisions for appointments have been made by Council.   

How long will the whole process take, from the application deadline to receiving an email about the selected members?

Between 2-3 months. 

I am over the age of 25 or under the age of 15. How can I get involved? 

There are a number of HRM Boards and Committees that you may be interested in, please find details here. You can also be a member of your local Recreation Centre’s Youth Action Team or inquire and help to create one in its’ absence. Your participation in activities and your opinion on important issues is still needed and very welcomed.

INFORMATION FOR PARENTS AND LEGAL GUARDIANS

How is the personal information in the application used?

For selecting members of the Youth Advisory Committee and getting the YAC established, including communicating with other YAC members, **see the privacy statement at the bottom of the application for more information.**

If my child is selected for the YAC, will their personal information be publicized?

If selected, the child’s name would be made public on the Halifax.ca website and in meeting minutes. They would be asked to provide a form providing their contact information that would be kept on file at the Clerk’s Office. 

Additional personal information provided on the committee application would not be made public; however, they would be accessible to municipal staff from the Clerk’s Office, Parks and Recreation, the Chief Administrative Officer’s Office Mayor’s Offices, and possibly the Councillor’s Support Office. Copies of the applications will be provided to Members of the Executive Standing Committee and will able available upon request to other Members of Regional Council. The original applications will be kept on file under custody of the Clerk’s Office in a secure location.   

Do I have to sign an authorization form for my child to be an appointed member? 

Yes. If they are under 19 years of age. 

Do I have to pay anything for my child to be a member of the YAC?

No. Travel, evening meeting snacks/meals will be covered.

Will there be supervision at the YAC meetings? 

Yes. At least one Parks and Recreation staff and/or Municipal Clerk’s Office staff will be present for each meeting.

If my child has special accommodations/needs, will those be addressed?

Yes, we will accommodate youth who have specific needs and work with individual situations as much as possible.