About the Council
Created in 2016, the Prime Minister’s Youth Council provides non-partisan advice to the Prime Minister on issues of importance to young Canadians and to Canada as a whole. Government of Canada officials frequently consult the Council as one mechanism to incorporate youth perspectives in government policy.
How does it work?
Council members meet both online and in person several times a year to discuss issues that matter to them as well as to their peers, their community, and their country.
At in-person meetings, Council members provide advice to the Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers and government officials. Discussions are captured in a meeting summary, which is then used by government officials to follow up with relevant Ministers and departments for further action.
Council members also provide written or video input on particular topics, based on:
- their school, work and life experience
- input from other youth in their community
- their research and volunteer experience
This often results in the Prime Minister tasking Ministers and federal departments and agencies to undertake further analysis of the issue in order to address the Council’s input.
As a diverse group of youth from regions across Canada, the Prime Minister does not expect Council members to agree unanimously. Council members work together to convey differing perspectives.
The Council is a platform for youth to use their voice, in their own voice. With this core value in mind, Council members develop and deliver input in their own words in the medium they choose, be it a video, a post on social media, a formal presentation, a written letter, or by using tools like e-petitions to Parliament.
The Youth Secretariat
In April 2016, the Youth Secretariat was established within the Privy Council office (PCO), to support the Prime Minister as Minister of Youth, including:
- the creation and administration of the Prime Minister’s Youth Council;
- contributing to the development of the Canada Service Corps;
- supporting youth engagement with the government of Canada; and
- offering strategic leadership, objective policy advice and coordination on youth issues.
The Youth Secretariat supports the work of the Prime Minister’s Youth Council by facilitating Youth Council members’ engagement with the Prime Minister, his Cabinet, federal departments, and other leaders and organizations working on youth issues, as well as supporting Youth Council members’ engagement in their communities.
On November 20, 2019, the Prime Minister named Bardish Chagger Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth and transferred the Youth Secretariat to the Department of Canadian Heritage. The Prime Minister has mandated the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth to:
- Continue the work of the Youth Secretariat to implement Canada’s first-ever Youth Policy and ensure that the upcoming State of Youth report adopts an intersectional approach that includes race.
- Support the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion to enhance the Youth Employment Strategy and the Canada Summer Jobs program.
- Serve as Vice Chair of the Prime Minister’s Youth Council and provide it with departmental support so that the Prime Minister has an opportunity to draw advice from an engaged group of young Canadians.
- Lead, with the support of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, the development of a signature national youth service program within the Canada Service Corps to allow youth to gain skills and leadership experience while making a meaningful difference in their communities.
Find out more about the Department of Canadian Heritage
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