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Message from the Premier’s Council on Youth Opportunities

As the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Premier’s Council on Youth Opportunities, we welcome this opportunity to tell you about the council and highlight our accomplishments over the year.

Members of the Premier’s Council on Youth Opportunities provide advice on how to improve the delivery and design of government programs and services for youth, report on specific challenges and share ideas on how to best support youth.

During fall 2015 and winter 2016, the council conducted Listening Tours and met with youth across the province to learn more about the issues that matter to them. We heard from over 400 youth from both urban and rural areas across the province. Although youth were from diverse areas, they raised five common themes: the need for safe and dedicated space, better access to transportation, a voice in decision making, more opportunities for employment, and stronger outreach on supports for youth.

This year, the council also met with provincial ministries to advise on and amplify the voices of marginalized youth. We spoke about the importance of designated youth employment opportunities on large infrastructure projects, the need for affordable youth and student fares, and raised concerns about transit accessibility for people with disabilities with the Ministry of Transportation. We raised important issues about youth homelessness with the Ministry of Housing. We pushed for wider consideration of youth facing barriers to employment in the Ministry of Labour’s work to address the gender wage gap. We actively participated in “Building the Future,” the Rural Ontario Summit that was hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. We also gave critical input to the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services on its Strategy for a Safer Ontario as well as youth justice and other policing issues.

Seventeen new members joined the council in May 2016, and another change in membership will take place in spring 2017. If you are a youth interested in learning more about the council or getting involved, visit www.ontario.ca/applyforpcyo. If you are a service provider or an adult ally, help spread the word about the council to youth in your community. Applications to the council are open year-round. We hope you, or someone you know, will consider applying and help council members identify and provide advice on issues and solutions important to you and others in your community.

Nataleah Hunter-Young, Chair
Premier’s Council on Youth Opportunities

Tina Yuan, Vice-Chair
Premier’s Council on Youth Opportunities

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