The deadline for the second wave of applications for the Prime Minister’s Youth Council is fast approaching. Youth from diverse backgrounds and locations that are interested in being part of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity must apply by Friday, Oct. 7.
The aim of the Youth Council is to advise and give feedback to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on issues relevant to Canadian youth.
“This is a reflection of what he’s [Trudeau] been working on his whole life. Basically saying you know if we really want to invest in the future of our country we need to do more to invest in young people. The youth advisory council to the prime minister is a reflection of that. It’s essentially a statement that if we really want the highest decision makers in this country to understand the needs of young people, the concerns of young people, and voice of young people when they go out to make decisions, then they need to have an opportunity to present their view,” said Peter Schiefke, Parliamentary Secretary for Youth.
Youth from all backgrounds, provinces, and territories, and walks of life are encouraged to apply for the program. The council is bilingual and will have an equal amount of men and women.
The 30 individuals chosen to be on the council will be expected to meet with Prime Minister Trudeau four times a year to give their feedback and concerns on issues that matter to them and topics that the minister brings to the table. They will also be expected to return back to their communities and engage with the youth to determine what the overall consensus is. The time commitment for these youth is ten to twenty hours a month.
Travel and accommodation expenses are covered by the government for the members of the Prime Minister’s Youth Council.
The deadline for the first wave of applications was Aug. 12 and close to 10,000 applications came in for the first round. These applications were narrowed down to 304 individuals in three groups: one based on grades, one with randomly selected applications and one for minorities, “particularly those who wouldn’t perhaps historically have an opportunity to have their voices heard or those who historically have not been involved in the democratic process,” including indigenous youth, visible minorities and youth of the LBGT community.
Fifteen finalists were chosen to be part of the Youth Council from these three groups, and their names were announced last week.
From the pool of the Oct. 7 applications, 15 additional members will be chosen in early 2017 to make up the total 30 members of the council. These youth will be a part of the council for up to two years.
Schiefke says the Youth Council is an important method of empowering the youth of this country.
“You can’t quantify the importance of showing young people how important their voice is and getting them involved in the political process at a young age…the Prime Minister really wants to get young people excited about what getting involved in the political process could mean for them and their future,” stated Schiefke.
To apply to be a part of the Prime Minister’s Youth Council, you must be between the ages of 16 and 24. Youth under the age of 18 need a waiver from their parent or legal guardian.