Investing in young Canadians
Hello everyone and welcome to this virtual town hall.
I am very happy to be with you today. I’m really, really happy to be with you all today to talk about whatever’s on your mind. This has been a very difficult year and one of the things that I’ve missed most is being able to get out and meet with young people across the country, meet with Canadians across the country and do town halls in which people get to share with me the things that are on your minds, ask questions, talk about the issues that we’re facing as a country in moving forward.
I have done a whole bunch of virtual visits to classrooms and they’ve all been a lot of fun, but I’ve been really looking forward to this one, and want to say a huge thank you to the Canadians Teachers’ Federation for pulling this one together with me and our extraordinary Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Chrystia Freeland.
The opportunity now to connect with all of you at this particular moment, I think, is a recognition that this has been a tough year for everyone, but it’s particularly tough for young people. I know my kids have home have had a huge tough time of it, not seeing friends the same way, not being able to do the same kinds of events. But also, a deeper concern about what this is going to mean for the coming years, and I know that’s, particularly as many of you reach the end of high school, reflecting on, how is this going to impact the coming years, your path through university, your path into the job market and potentially impacts, economic and jobs and growth for you for many years to come?
And that’s something that we’re very, very much aware of and focused on, because we have to make sure that any scarring that can happen, as happens in recessions and in crises, does not limit your capacity to succeed. Because we need you, we need you to become and be the extraordinary powerful agents of change that I know you intend on being. We have to make sure that each and every one of you gets the path that you’re able to walk, with as many supports as possible to ensure, not just that you’re contributing through the coming years, but that you’ll be shaping our society for the years to come.
So that’s why being able to check in with you now, hear from you and your concerns, talk about them, and highlight some of ways in which we are looking to support you as you move forward is really important to me.
These are difficult times, with enormous challenges, but I know that the vision, the drive, the perspective that you bring is essential—not just for getting through this pandemic, but also for building a better world for the decades to come.
We’ve talked a lot about, over the past number of years… or the past year, of how we’re going to get through this pandemic, and I think that remains really important, that we deal with this crisis and come through it in the right way. But it’s going to be incredibly important as well, that we draw on some of the many, many lessons -- some directly linked to the pandemic, some not so much -- that we’ve learned over the past while to build a better world, a better economy, a better society for everyone. And I think those are things that keep coming up as themes every time I hear from young people. So, I’m really looking forward to this opportunity.