In response to the federal budget tabled on March 19th, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada applauds the Government of Canada for its commitment to building stronger communities through investment in youth potential.
Youth in Canada have significant potential to become thriving, engaged, and productive citizens. When they have access to a mentor, they are more likely to be employed, make healthy life choices, and give back to their community. Through direct investment in youth mentoring programs such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Government of Canada can unleash the potential of our next generation.
Big Brothers Big Sisters is pleased to note the inclusion of:
- Expansion of the Canada Service Corps. With 21,300+ Canadians volunteering their time as mentors with Big Brothers Big Sisters, we know that community service is critical to our country’s future. Reducing barriers to volunteer service for young Canadians will help Big Brothers Big Sisters ensure a better future for all children and youth.
- Modernization of the Youth Employment Strategy. A modernized Youth Employment Strategy would provide young people with the holistic support they need to participate fully in society. This modernization has the potential to better support all youth, especially those facing barriers to postsecondary education and employment. As noted by the Expert Panel on Youth Employment in report Strategies for a New World of Work, young people value effective mentorship opportunities.
- Support for marginalized youth. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada is pleased to see commitments to investing in the future of young Black Canadians as well as Indigenous youth (particularly those living in rural and isolated areas). Big Brothers Big Sisters is committed to ensuring equitable opportunities for all youth, recognizing that many face systemic barriers based on their identity or location.
For the first time in history, the Government of Canada has focused on young people as contributors to Canada’s economic wellbeing. The time to act is now. Our public leaders have a unique opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to youth with smart investments in the charitable and voluntary sectors, particularly in mentoring as a cost-effective approach.
“From coast to coast to coast, young people tell us that they need access to the support and guidance of a mentor. In addition, new research from the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University shows that the presence of one supportive adult role model can make all the difference in reducing toxic stress and ensuring long-term health outcomes. The Government of Canada can play a critical role in ensuring that young people – especially young people facing marginalization – have access to this critical preventative intervention,” says W. Matthew Chater, National President & CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada.
Budget 2019 includes a special document on youth investment: Investing in Young Canadians.
About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada
Big Brothers Big Sisters provides one-on-one and group mentoring services for more than 40,000 children and youth in 1,100 communities across Canada. Many young people face adversities in their lives, resulting in toxic stress that can negatively impact their development. With the support of a mentor, young people can overcome these adversities and develop the confidence to reach their full potential. Our mentors are adults who create a positive developmental relationship with a young person, providing guidance, support, and constructive role modelling.
National Director, Community Engagement
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada
905-639-0461 ext. 47