Vernon council members attending next month’s Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) convention in Vancouver will have an extra person observing them.
Cadence Taron, a Grade 12 student at Vernon’s Clarence Fulton Secondary, applied through the Southern Interior Local Government Association to join her local councillors as an observer, and her application was accepted.
“I don’t see myself being in politics, I see this as a learning experience to learn more things in my life,” said Taron as she was introduced at Monday’s regular Vernon council meeting by Mayor Victor Cumming. “Life is so short, we should learn as many things as we can. I’m very excited.”
Taron, who wants to be an obstetrician-gynecologist (OB-GYN), said in her bio read aloud by Cumming that she was interested in going to UBCM “because she wants to contribute toward bettering the planet. She wants a healthy, clean environment for generations to come, and she wants to learn how council makes decisions and how to get involved so she can make a difference.”
“It’s a very critical conference for us, and it’s wonderful to have a student join us,” said Cumming. “She’ll be learning faster than some of us old dogs. We’re really excited to have her along.”
Taron is a graduate and scholarship recipient from the Queen Silver Star Excellence Program. She has spent 10 years donating backpacks to less fortunate children, donates money to the SPCA when she can, and is a volunteer at the Interior Provincial Exhibition in Armstrong.
She reached Trooper level in the Royal Canadian Army Cadets and has re-certified her first aid training.
“UBCM was formed 100 years ago to provide a common voice for local government,” said Cumming. “She’ll see many things over five days in Vancouver. Where else can you get to see 1,000 politicians in one room?”
The UBCM convention is held the last week of September. This year’s theme is resiliency and change.