The young man who will soon be appointed as a government senator in the Upper House of Parliament intends to use his new high profile position to advocate for his peers.
Caleb Gardiner, 22, said since the announcement by Prime Minister Gaston Browne that he will be appointed as a legislator, he has been inundated by messages from young people who are optimistic that through him, many of the challenges they face will receive urgent attention.
Gardiner shared this in an appearance on Pointe FM’s Talking Point after Prime Minister Browne’s announcement that he would replace Eustace ‘Teco’ Lake who is retiring.
“The main encouragement from my peers is that when you get in there remember us. Remember the issues that we’re having, because you are now our advocate, you are now our voice and it’s a case where you are here so that you can relay firsthand information as to what young people are.
“It’s a case where now that there’s somebody around their age group, it’s now relatable,” the St. John’s City West resident stated.
Once appointed, Gardiner will make history as the youngest person to be appointed to serve in the Upper House.
Senator Shenella Govia will become the former holder of that honour.
He is already on a mission to educate young Antiguans and Barbudans on government policies and how they can work to their benefit.
“One main thing to create an inclusive country is to educate our people because many times, most persons are misinformed and then that leaves loopholes for persons to come in and spread propaganda.”
With the ABLP placing emphasis on succession planning, Gardiner has voiced his support for Prime Minister Browne’s progressive position to include young people in leadership roles as his administration attempts to move the country forward.
“Young people are the ones who are going to push the country forward. Continuity is important and it’s important to get young persons involved. If we don’t get the information out there of the importance of politics and government to our young people, they won’t have the buy-in.
“The party has to evolve, the country has to evolve, but as young people, it’s a time for us to be more aware of the social issues, the economic issues that’s really and truly are going to plague us in the years to come,” Gardiner said.