YAC Frequently Asked Questions

General Information for Applicants

What is the Youth Advisory Committee?

The Youth Advisory Committee is a team of twelve youth members between the ages of 15-24 years old from across Halifax Regional Municipality who advise and assist Regional Council, through the Executive Standing Committee, on how municipal policies, programs, and services affect youth, and challenge the areas where we can do better.

What does the Youth Advisory Committee do?

Committee members regularly engage with other youth throughout the municipality to:

  • help youth shape the future of our municipality;
  • bring unheard voices to Regional Council;
  • educate youth on policies and decisions that affect them;
  • identify and remove barriers facing youth; and
  • help make our local government more diverse.
What does a member of Youth Advisory Committee do?

As volunteers on the committee, each committee member will: 

  • be available to attend each meeting;
  • participate on the committee actively and responsibly;
  • work as part of a team to provide input on various municipal matters; and
  • commit to address and reduce youth identified barriers, as well as be advocates for youth issues.
Who can apply?

Any youth who has been a resident of the Halifax Regional Municipality for a minimum of six months and is between 15-24 years of age.  

The Committee shall be comprised of up to twelve youth members including 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
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

What is Regional Council?

Regional Council is the main decision-making body for the Halifax Regional Municipality. The members are the Mayor and the 16 Councillors.

What is the time commitment for members?

Committee members will serve two-year terms – September to June (school year).   They attend face-to-face or virtual meetings once per month in the evening and should 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, 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. 

What do I do if I need to miss 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. If you expect to miss multiple consecutive meetings, you should request a leave of absence.  

If you miss three consecutive meetings without requesting a leave of absence, you will no longer be a member of the Committee.  

Dress code?

Generally, it's casual dress 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.

What is Regional Council responsible for?

For a look at some of the Priority areas for the current Council, review the current Strategic Priorities Plan

What happens at monthly meetings?

Aside from setting a standard agenda for every meeting, members will work to provide input on municipal matters that impact youth. As authentic partners with the Municipality, 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 member?

No, this is a voluntary appointment. 

How do I apply?

You will need to complete an online application form during a recruitment period. If you are under 19 years of age, it is important that you discuss your interest in applying with your caregiver(s), parents, or legal guardians, and get consent. 

Can I submit my application past the deadline? 

Late applications will not be accepted. 

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.

If I am not selected, can I apply again? 

Yes, you are encouraged to reapply.  You can submit a new application during an active recruitment. There are twelve positions on the Youth Advisory Committee and often more applicants than vacancies, so do not get discouraged if you are not selected the first time you apply. 

Will there be confirmation that my application has been received after I submit it? 

Yes.  After you submit your application, you should receive an email from serve@halifax.ca confirming receipt of your application.  You should check your Junk E-mail folder for communication from us as sometimes communication are mistakenly marked as spam and sent to the Junk E-mail folder.  

What happens to my application once I submit it? 

When the recruitment period closes, your application will be reviewed by the Municipal Clerk’s Office to confirm eligibility and that the application was submitted on time.  The application will only be provided to those staff and members of Council participating in the selection process.  

How will members be selected once the applications are reviewed? 

The selection process for Youth Advisory Committee is conducted by the Executive Standing Committee with support from the Municipal Clerk’s Office who will meet in camera (in private) to review applications.  When making selections, in addition to the application, the following may also be considered: 

  • achieving a balance of experienced and new members;
  • geographic representation from across the municipality; and
  • representing the diversity and demographics of the community.

The Executive Standing Committee will submit its recommendation of appointments to Regional Council for consideration. Appointments by Regional Council shall be made during an in camera (in private) meeting.  Regional Council shall make the number of appointments necessary to fill the vacancies and may also appoint alternates for use if a vacancy occurs on the committee between recruitment periods. 

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.

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

No.  All applicants will be notified via email after decisions for appointments have been made by Council.   

Information for Parents and Legal Guardians

If my child is selected for appointment 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 complete a form providing their contact information that would be kept on file at the Clerk’s Office. 

Additional personal information provided on the application would not be made public; however, they would be accessible to municipal staff involved in the selection process and members of Council. The original applications will be kept on file under custody of the Municipal 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, and 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.