Youth Governance

It’s time to elect our 2017-18 Youth Observer to the CUC Board!  

Everything you need to know about the YOB position, application process and election is below. Please have a read through if you are interested in running for YOB. Links to the election site and voting registration are below (see: “How does the election work?”)

Important Dates:

  • February 1: YOB application opens
  • February 24: Application deadline – candidates will be contacted about submitting a video statement and photo for the election.
  • March 24 – April  9: Online voting is open – for all youth (14-20) across Canada.
  • April 15: The new 2017-18 YOB is announced!

Some things you might want to know about youth governance and our Youth Observer to the Board position:

How is the CUC Governed?

The Canadian Unitarian Council is an association made up of all our churches, congregations, and fellowships across Canada.  The CUC is governed by a Board of Trustees who are elected by representatives – known as delegates – from each of these congregations. Each of the four CUC regions has two trustees, who together form the CUC Board.

It is these congregations, as opposed to the individuals who belong to them, who are the members of the CUC and in this way the congregations are known as the “legal owners” of the CUC.

The congregations, through their delegates, give direction to the Board who then sets priorities for the CUC Staff who work on behalf of the CUC to support all the member congregations.

However the CUC staff does not only support and work with congregations.  In addition to congregations, the CUC also has a relationships with other groups such as the UU Ministers of Canada, Canadians Unitarians for Social Justice, as well as individuals such as religious educators, Lay Chaplains and youth and young adults.

Learn more about How We Govern Ourselves.      

Youth and the CUC Board

In the early 2000s the CUC Board created the position of Youth Observer to the Board (YOB) to help bring a youth voice directly to the board table.  Since 2001 there have been nine YOBs who have each diligently brought youth concerns and issues to the CUC Board of Trustees.  The YOB, like the official Minister Observer to the Board, does not vote in board decisions but their voice does have a lot of weight and they are able to participate fully in the work of the Board as an observer.

So What does the YOB do?

The YOB plays a vital role in keeping the CUC Board aware of how its decisions affect those aged 14 – 20 in our movement. Although the YOB can’t really speak for all Canadian UU Youth, each YOB does their best to bring forward a ‘youth perspective.’

In addition the YOB:

  • participates in monthly Board teleconference meetings
  • attends the bi-annual face to face Board meetings
  • works with CanUUdle staff
  • leads a “CUC and youth business” workshop and feedback session at CanUUdle
  • does their best to check in with youth across the country and be available to hear feedback, suggestions and ideas about youth ministry
  • meets regularly with the CUC YaYA staff member to share information
  • attends regional Youth Cons as they are able
  • is active on (and administers) the Canadian Unitarian Youth Facebook group.

If you’re interested in the YOB job, see the full YOB job description, and get an idea of what kind of skills, experience and time commitment are required for the position.

Who is the Current YOB?

Our current Youth Observer to the Board is Neal Cameron from Kingston. He was elected in May 2015, so he can choose to run for another year term on the board.

Learn about the current YOB, Neal Cameron here!

How Does the Election Work?

The Youth Observer to the Board is elected by youth across Canada every May. Sometimes the current youth observer decides to run for a second year, or there are completely new candidates.

Who can vote? Youth who are between 14 and 20 at the time of the election.

How does it work?

  • YOB candidates will post a short bio and video of themselves explaining why they want to be the YOB, and what skills and experience they bring to the position.
  • Youth vote for the YOB between March 24-April 9.
  • The YOB is announced on April 15.

This year youth can participate in the election online:

  • Online Voting: Takes places through an easy online form between March 24 and  April 9.
  • Register to vote and get more information about the YOB elections process!
  • See candidate bios and videos after March 15

How do I run for YOB?

If you are a youth who will be between 14 and 19 at the time of the election, and you think this is the position for you, you are welcome to run for YOB!

Please make sure to read the full job description and criteria, and then head over to the YOB Applications page to find out how to apply. You’ll need to answer some questions, provide a bio, photo and a short video, and give us 2 references that can vouch for your awesomeness.

You may also want to contact our current YOB, Neal Cameron, to discuss whether the YOB would be the right fit for you.


Get Connected with the Election, and with Youth and Young Adult news and events!

Like our facebook page: CUCYaYAMinistry

Follow us on Instagram and Twitter: yayasofcanada

Questions about the election? Contact Asha Philar – the CUC Youth and Young Adult Ministry staff at