Prime Minister Trudeau delivers remarks at the University of Saskatchewan
Thank you, Patty, for that kind introduction, and thank you for the incredible work you do as our Minister for Employment, Labour and Workforce Development. Since the beginning of our mandate, Patty has been a strong voice for positive change in our country. First as Minister of Status of Women, and now as Minister for jobs basically. She’s worked hard to ensure that every Canadian has a fair and equal shot at success. So thank you, Patty, for all that you do for Canadians and for Canada.
Friends, it’s great to be back in Saskatoon. As Patty just mentioned, we just wrapped up a productive discussion here at the University of Saskatchewan with students -- with the students here behind me, who shared their experiences, their perspectives, their hopes and their dreams. We talked about the difficulty of integrating into a university community as an aboriginal student often from small communities, living very different experiences than what they’re thrust into. The need for a supportive, resource-filled environment. We talked about the challenges of stigmatization, but also their hopes and dreams for the future.
And if I can share the one story that touched me -- one among many stories that touched me -- was Joe’s story. When we asked what was it that drove him, since he had no parents or grandparents or uncles or role models in his community who are Indigenous studying in the health sciences, why did he push himself to go study into science, he said, well, when I was in my late 20s and my son was born, and I watched the doctors caring for him, I realized I wanted that kind of impact on my community, and it drove him to where he is today.
And it was an incredibly humbling experience for me to talk about these young people, about the challenges with these young people -- about the challenges they’re facing, but also underlying the incredible opportunity we have as a country, in our future, when we pull together young people from every background and give everyone a real and fair chance to succeed. Give them the tools to help their communities succeed, give them the tools to help build a strong future. That’s our responsibility as a country, as a university, as communities. Build a better tomorrow. And it happens through investing in our young people. And that’s why I’m so humbled to be here today.
With the young people, we had the chance to talk about what our government is doing to help young Canadians succeed and to share ideas with those who are taking advantage of these initiatives. Young people know better than anyone how quickly our world is changing. There is no doubt that technology and innovation have completely transformed our ways of learning, working and living. And although this new economy offers many new opportunities, young Canadians sometimes feel like they don’t have the right skills to seize those opportunities.
Like Patty said, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard students tell me they couldn’t get a job because they didn’t have work experience, and they can’t get work experience because they don’t have a job. So our government decided to step up. We developed an ambitious but pragmatic plan to help prepare all Canadians for the good, middle-class jobs of tomorrow. Jobs that will put more money in their pockets so that they can save, invest, and grow our economy. Across the country, we’re supporting young Canadians by making smart, targeted investments in programs that will prepare them for an increasingly competitive job market. In programs that allow people to train, work, and live in their communities.
The government’s student work placements is one of those programs. We also announced new investments in the aboriginal skills and employment training strategy to meet the growing demand from Indigenous Peoples for skills development and job training. By getting the skills they need for good, middle-class jobs here in the province, the people of Saskatchewan can settle down and raise their families at home.
Once again, I’m incredibly pleased to be here today on the first day of school for so many of you here today. I’m excited to be part of this exciting initiative, excited to be here today. Thank you very much for being here. Merci beaucoup tout le monde.
I’m happy to take your questions now from media.