12. November 2010 14:30
Not long ago I received an email from a friend and colleague pointing out that the Government of Ontario has recently launched a recruitment process for a province-wide Youth Development Committee. This team of young people, ages 18 to 25 and with different backgrounds and experiences, will work with the provincial government to develop a Youth Policy Framework for Ontario. They will help to make sure that the many voices of Ontario's youth are heard by the 'powers that be!' The Framework is expected to outline and describe how young people grow and develop and what they need to succeed along the way.
Rob Black, Chief Executive Officer
Obviously there is a need for the rural youth voice to be heard as part of this important work. Youth from rural Ontario interested in participating can visit www.youthconnect.ca to learn more about the initiative. I note that the application deadline is November 21, 2010 and that time, travel and accommodation expenses will be covered – certainly a great deal for those participating and further recognition that the participation on, and input to this committee has significant value and will be valued by those in power and using the information developed.
Recruiting for the Youth Development Committee is only one step in the government’s plan to engage and involve youth from across Ontario. As I checked out the website to get information about the developing Youth Policy Framework I saw that that the provincial government is encouraging youth to join the voluntary Youth Network.
This Youth Network is made up of young people aged 12-25 from across Ontario who provide their opinions and ideas and also help get other young people involved. The Network will be ambassadors for the Youth Policy Framework project and members will be asked to spread information about the developing Framework among friends and other youth in communities across Ontario. As a member of the Youth Network participants will be kept in the loop about the Youth Policy Framework and be given the chance to participate in as much of the framework development process as they wish.
I am delighted to see the provincial government asking Ontario’s young people to get involved, have a say and influence future government policy and activity. Proof of the initiative’s success though, from a rural perspective, will be two-fold… Will Ontario’s rural youth step up and take on the challenge to provide their voice to this important initiative? And… Will the provincial government respond accordingly to the suggestions from this new youth committee and the outcomes of the Youth Policy Framework? My hope on both accounts is a resounding YES!