So far, 2012 has been a very bad year for young Canadians from coast to coast to coast: an alarming unemployment rate of 13.9%, the shutting of the Service Canada Youth Job Centers across the country, and a youth-criminalizing Crime Bill. Now the Conservatives have cancelled Canada’s outstanding national youth volunteer program, Katimavik.
Since 1977, Katimavik has enabled over 30,000 young Canadians to volunteer for local charitable and non-profit organizations like YMCA-YWCA National Capital Region and KidSport Ottawa. In addition to learning a second language and exploring Canada, Katimavik fosters citizenship, leadership, and cooperation, by giving experience and opportunity to our youth. Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that for every dollar the organization spends, $2.20 is generated in our neighbourhoods.
With enough pressure, we can still reverse the Conservatives’ decision. Youth need the tools to succeed; let’s make sure they have them. We must not allow the Katimavik house in Ottawa to close.