OUR VIEW: Let youth lead the way forward

As a youth organization, cadets of every stripe have a lot of good things going for them.

As a youth organization, cadets of every stripe have a lot of good things going for them.

Youth are exposed to character-building activities and have the chance to be leaders among their peers at an early age — potentially setting the stage for accomplishments later in life, in whatever field they chose as young adults.

Like many youth groups, cadets also is a place where attitudes are learned or unlearned — as described in our story in this edition about the successes of a local 18-year-old girl in the 676 Squadron Air Cadets in Sidney. Rising up the ranks is an accomplishment to be proud of and Emma Van Wyk has made it to the Squadron’s second in command (among her peers).

Reading about her experiences and those of young women who came before her, it appears to be a positive experience, where young men and women share the duties, roles and leadership opportunities. It’s a wonderful example of any cadet — male or female — when given the chance to shine, they do, setting an example for those around them and future leaders.

It’s a lesson we wish would survive long after the cadets experience is over and young people consider careers in the Canadian Forces as adults.

While cadets is no guarantee that someone will choose to serve their country once they exit the youth organization, some do take that path. And hopefully more and more of them that do so, will bring with them the kind of leadership example of people like Van Wyk.

The Canadian Forces has had very public battles with issues of sexual assault and discrimination. While the top brass has said in the past they wish to weed it out, there is still a long way to go. And like many aspects of society, it may take a generational shift to get there.

Better yet, it will take a change in leadership to better reflect our nation’s desire for equal opportunities in all of the public service — including the military.

That sort of change in thinking and increase in acceptance starts at the lowest possible level — with youth. Hopefully, over time, it will work its way up through the ranks and become the norm, not just the hope.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North Saanich submits ALR exclusion despite large opposition

Opposed North Saanich residents now shift their attention to ALC after 6-1 council vote

Saanich calls for applicants to join Housing Strategy task force

Council to appoint ‘diverse group’ to tackle housing challenges

Court strikes down Sidney’s denial of proposed cannabis store

Justice Jennifer Power orders municipality to reconsider application and pay court costs

VicPD seeking witnesses for fatal crash on Hillside Avenue

A pedestrian was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries, where she later died

21 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in B.C. as virus ‘silently circulates’ in broader community

Health officials urge British Columbians to enjoy summer safely as surge continues

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 13

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Tough time for tree fruits as some B.C. farm products soar

Province reports record 2019 sales, largely due to cannabis

‘Let’s all do a self-check’: Okanagan mayor reacts to racist vandalism targeting local family

Home of Indo-Canadian family in Summerland was targeted on evening of July 13

Province agrees to multimillion-dollar payout for alleged victims of Kelowna social worker

Robert Riley Saunders is accused of misappropriating funds of children — often Indigenous — in his care

Feds fund safe drug supply pilot program for Cowichan

The opioid overdose crisis continues to be one of the most serious public health crises

B.C. businessman David Sidoo gets 3 months behind bars for college admissions scam

Sidoo was sentenced for hiring someone take the SATs in place of his two sons

PHOTOS: Inside a newly-listed $22M mega-mansion on ALR land in B.C.

The large home, located on ALR land, is one of the last new mansions to legally be built on ALR land

Most Read