Prime Minister Trudeau delivers remarks prior to meeting with Youth Council in Sherbrooke, QC
Hello everyone, and welcome to this meeting of the Prime Minister’s Youth Council. This is always a great opportunity for me to hear directly from young people involved in their communities and engaged across the country along many issues about their concerns, to have frank and direct discussions about the major issues of concern to our youth, Canadians and a lot of people around the world.
It is my pleasure to be here with Peter Schiefke, the Parliamentary Secretary for Youth, among other things, and his leadership on this council continues to provide tremendous support, both to the council and to me as the Minister of Youth.
Over the last couple of days, you’ve all had the opportunity to hear from a number of folks from within and across government; to engage in issues that you’ve seen that have come up over the course of the past months in your communities, to talk about things that have happened on the world stage, and indeed across Canada that have been sources of challenges, or questions, or concerns. This is really an opportunity, as it always is, for you to dig into these issues, to bring your concerns to me, but also to work with our secretariat, work with our government on pathways to make sure that youth concerns, that citizens’ concerns are being heard, listened to, and responded to.
One of the big focuses we’ve had is how we’re going to make sure that young people have all the opportunities to succeed in the world of tomorrow, whether it’s investing in education and science, whether it’s making sure that the path of reconciliation truly means that young people in every corner of this country are given full opportunities to flourish, to thrive, to become the adults and the leaders that we all need them to be, grounded in culture, identity, and opportunity.
We know we need to continue to work together on establishing a youth policy for this country. A youth policy in Canada that will be generated by youth, for youth, to guide governments in their thinking about youth, but also to allow young people to be directly involved in formulating solutions and policy, and issues that are important to them and continue to be very important.
There are some subjects we’re going to address more specifically. When I was in Surrey last year, I sat down with a group of young people to deal with gun violence, and we know that’s something that is of concern right across the country, and that’s a subject you’re going to be tackling tomorrow. We also know that taking action on the environment is of key importance to so many of you, and that’s why tomorrow you’re going to have a conversation on the Ocean Plastics Charter, and what we’re doing in Canada, and what we need to be doing to both lead here at home, but show leadership, or catch up in some cases, on the world stage.
And as always, the conversation about reconciliation has to continue. We are very mindful of the major challenges around reconciliation, which is so important, between indigenous peoples and the Government of Canada. We saw last week a demonstration, that we still have a lot of work to do to be in this partnership based on respect and openness, and partnership.
The events of the past week have certainly highlighted that there is much work to do on the reconciliation file that we do need to continue to work on, and I heard very clearly from a number of you that there is much more work to do, and many answers that we have to continue to dig into as to how we’re doing on the path of reconciliation and how we need to do better on that path as well.
So, these are all things that I’m very much looking forward to engaging along, with a number of other subjects that I know you’re going to bring up.
It’s a great pleasure to see you here today, gathered in Sherbrooke. It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to talk about issues we care about across the country, and I am really looking forward to to being able to continue this great discussion with all of you. Thank you very much.