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Port Coquitlam teen fights for more support for disabled people

Noor Shaker, the youngest member of the B.C. Young Leaders Council, says she sees 'inadequacies' in government. She wants more funding and support for teachers and people with disabilities.
Noor Shaker BC Youth Council copy
Noor Shaker, of Port Coquitlam, has been appointed to the StrongerBC Young Leaders Council.

A feisty teen is hoping to shake up the B.C. government.

At 14 years old, Noor Shaker is the youngest member of the StrongerBC Young Leaders Council. 

The Port Coquitlam teen, who attends Riverside Secondary School, has lived with cerebral palsy for her entire life and joined the council to push for more support for disabled people.

“I want more support for disabled youth around B.C. and youth who don’t necessarily fit into society’s norms,” she said.

 “I had a chance to speak with the premier about providing more support for mobility aids and funding to get disabled people the support they need.”

The Young Leaders Council was created to advise the provincial government on issues that are most important to young people.

Members range in age from 14 to 26 and commit to being on the council for a one-year term. The council will be chaired by Brittny Anderson, MLA for Nelson-Creston and the premier’s special adviser on youth.

Last Friday (May 13), the council was in Victoria to meet with Premier John Horgan and other MLAs. It was their first meeting in the legislature since joining the council.

“It was spectacular meeting all the different MLAs, ministers and finally getting the chance to meet everyone in person,” Shaker said.

She first got interested in politics after seeing a lot of “inadequacies” and a lot of what she considers to be "talk without action from senior levels of government." 

Among her concerns is support for B.C. teachers and help for people with disabilities.

"I believe the government  — specifically the ministry of education — needs to step up and provide adequate support and listen to educators on the issues educators face in order to support future generations," Shaker told the Tri-City News.

As well, she said she's worried about "lack of funding for people with disabilities and long wait times for mobility aids and equipment." 

Shaker said her goal is to one day become a politician at either the federal or provincial level. 

She met with Coquitlam-Burke Mountain MLA Fin Donnelly and told him he’d better watch out because she’s "coming for his job."