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Mock council meeting brings municipal government alive


What John Burke High School students in Grand Bank had been learning about municipal government in their social studies textbooks came alive May 27.

Mayor Darrell Lafosse (standing) introduces the members of the Grand Bank Town Council, including deputy mayor Clayton Welsh,  and the town office staff who participated in a mock council meeting May 27 at John Burke High School. Carl Rose Photo

BY CARL ROSE

Special to The Gazette

They attended a mock council meeting held at their school.

The Grand Bank mayor, councillors and members of the office staff  conducted a mock council meeting with a prepared agenda similar to that used in an actual meeting.

Mayor Darrell Lafosse, who is also a social studies teacher at John Burke, gave the students a brief lesson on the three levels of government in Canada. He mentioned the level of government the students are likely to have most contact with is the municipal level.

Throughout the meeting, Mayor Lafosse and teacher Glen Rogers injected mini lessons on the process of municipal government, how it operates and its importance in the life of the town.

Mayor Lafosse, speaking both as a teacher and municipal leader, outlined the two fold purpose of the mock council meeting.

“First of all, we want to get the message out that this is Municipal Awareness Week and we want to let our students know what our council does in the town, what our responsibilities are and how we operate.

“The second goal is to coordinate this with what we do in social studies. One unit in the Grade Eight social studies program deals with the three levels of government, one of these being the municipalities.”

Student Rebecca Green felt the mock council session was a valuable learning experience.

“Today I learned what a council actually does for the town. Before this meeting I did not know what the council really did, but now I have a good grasp on it.

“It’s much more interesting to learn this from an actual council meeting than simply reading about it in a social studies textbook.”

Mr. Rogers reminded the students they also have a responsibility to the town.

“You, like all of us, have the responsibility of being good citizens.”

This activity was promoted by the Grand Bank Town Council as a part of Municipal Awareness Week May 27-31. Throughout the week, towns educate the public on the role of municipal government and the services they provide as well as acknowledge the substantial time commitment of volunteers who serve on municipal councils.

Municipal Awareness Week is a joint project of Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador, Department of Municipal Affairs and Professional Municipal Administrators.

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