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Prime Minister's Youth Council

Have a question about engagement opportunities with the Government of Canada or the Prime Minister’s Youth Council? You should be able to find your answer below by browsing the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). 

If you can’t find an answer to your question, feel free to contact us at youth-jeunesse@pco-bcp.gc.ca.

Frequently Asked Questions

Opportunities to Get Involved

Signing Up

1. How can I learn about youth engagement opportunities and youth issues?

Sign up to receive our Newsletter and/or to be contacted for engagement opportunities.

Youth Newsletter

2. Who can sign up to receive the newsletter?

Anyone can sign up to receive the newsletter.

3. How do I sign up for the newsletter?

Fill out the online form

Engagement Opportunities

4. How do I sign up for engagement opportunities?

Fill out the online form. You can select areas that interest you for additional area-specific engagement opportunities.

5. Who can sign up for engagement opportunities?

Anyone can sign up for engagement opportunities. Depending on the opportunity, it may be open only to Canadian citizens, landed immigrants, and/or protected persons who have signed up. If an opportunity has a specific age requirement, we will tell you.

6. What kinds of engagement opportunities are available?

Opportunities are wide-ranging. They could include participation in advisory committees, online and in-person discussions, consultations, and hackathons, as well as opportunities to participate in domestic and international activities.

7. Can I propose an interest area that hasn’t yet been identified for engagement opportunities?

Yes. When filling out the online form, there is space for you to share additional interests.

8. How do I change my areas of interest or update my information?

You will need to go back to the sign up form and re-enter all of your updated information including your updated areas of interest and submit the form. If you are subscribing with a new email, you may wish to unsubscribe your old email, by writing to youth-jeunesse@pco-bcp.gc.ca with the subject line “unsubscribe”.

9. Are travel costs covered if an engagement opportunity is not in my city?

It depends on the opportunity. We will inform you of the details for participating in the opportunity.

10. If I receive a confirmation that I have been accepted for an in-person engagement opportunity and I can’t go, can I transfer it to a friend?

It depends; there will be specific details for each opportunity.

11. How do I unsubscribe?

Please send us an email at youth-jeunesse@pco-bcp.gc.ca with the subject: “Unsubscribe”. This will unsubscribe you from all youth engagement e-mail lists. If you wish to re-subscribe with a different e-mail address or to modify your subscription preferences or information, you will need to go back to the sign up form and re-enter all of your updated information including your updated areas of interest and submit the form.

Prime Minister’s Youth Council

Background

1. What is the Prime Minister’s Youth Council?

The Prime Minister’s Youth Council is a group of young Canadians who provide non-partisan advice to the Prime Minister and the Government of Canada on issues of importance to them and to all Canadians. Listening to young people about issues that matter to them is an important commitment of the government. As Minister of Youth, the Prime Minister wants to hear directly from young people. The Prime Minister’s Youth Council is one mechanism to support this dialogue.

2. How many members does the Youth Council have?

The Youth Council currently has 26 members. 

3. Will the Youth Council always have 26 members?

The size of the Youth Council may change over time as members complete their mandates and as new waves of Youth Council members are selected. The Youth Council may have up to 30 active members in total.

4. What is expected of the Youth Council members?

Youth Council members meet both online and in person several times a year to discuss issues that matter to their peers, their community, and their country. They interact with each other outside of meetings to discuss ideas and upcoming activities, and talk with their peers about issues that matter most to them. There may also be opportunities to engage with local and national organizations, meet with policy makers and decision-makers like Cabinet Ministers, and attend public events.

5. How long do members serve the Youth Council?

Members serve for a mandate of up to two years.

6. Can Youth Council members serve more than one mandate?

Youth Council members may serve one mandate in total.

7. Are Youth Council members paid?

Members are allocated a fixed remuneration for their time while conducting Youth Council business. Accommodation and travel costs are also covered when Youth Council members attend in-person meetings.

8. How do Youth Council members provide policy advice to the Prime Minister?

The Prime Minister wants to hear from young people on subjects that matter to them and to all Canadians. The perspectives of youth are one of many sources of relevant input that go into the policy-making process. Youth Council members provide advice verbally at meetings with the Prime Minister, Ministers and Government officials, and they also provide written input.

9. What is the time commitment for Youth Council members?

The Youth Council meets in person up to four times per year. In addition, there are virtual meetings and planning activities leading up to and following in-person meetings. On average, Youth Council members spend 15 hours per month on Youth Council-related activities.

10. Do Youth Council meetings take place on school days or weekends?

Meetings could take place on any day of the week.

11. Do Youth Council members sign a media waiver? What if they are under the age of 18?

Yes. Youth Council members sign a consent form to authorize the Government of Canada to use images or video footage taken of them.

If Youth Council members are under the age of 18, then they sign a consent form along with their parents or legal guardians.

12. Are accommodations provided to Youth Council members with special needs?

Yes. Accommodations for special needs or disabilities are provided according to Youth Council members’ specific situation.

13. Do Youth Council members take care of their own travel arrangements?

The Government of Canada will arrange all Youth Council members’ travel and accommodation needs, including booking travel, reserving hotel rooms, and providing food during in-person Youth Council meetings.

14. Are meetings held only in Ottawa?

Meetings may take place anywhere in Canada. So far, the Youth Council has met in Ottawa, Ontario (September 2016), Calgary, Alberta (January 2017), and Montreal, Quebec (May 2017).

Application process for the Youth Council

15. When can I submit my application?

The next call for applications is expected in the fall of 2017. You can sign up to receive updates on youth engagement opportunities, including notifications about when the next application session opens for the Prime Minister’s Youth Council by signing up here.

16. What is the application process?

To apply, you must fill out an application form, which includes sections for you to provide background information on your identity, your experience and involvement over the last two years in organizations, activities you have undertaken in your community, your leadership experience, initiatives that you have launched, and the total number of hours contributed to all of the above.

17. How do I apply?

Applications are filled out and submitted online.

18. Can I apply now for the Youth Council?

The next call for applications is expected in the Fall of 2017.

19. Is there an age requirement?

You need to be aged 16 to 24 when you apply.

This means that to be considered eligible for the Youth Council you will need to be no older than 24 and no younger than 16 on the day of the application deadline.

20. Do I have to be bilingual in order to apply?

You may apply in the official language of your choice. You do not have to be bilingual.

21. How will I be notified if I am selected for the Youth Council?

If your application moves into the final stages of the selection process, you will be contacted at the email address that you provided in your application.

22. If I am selected for the Youth Council, what happens next?

You will receive a training package ahead of time to help you prepare for your meetings. Additional training will be provided at in-person sessions.

23. If I am selected for the Youth Council, will my name and photo be displayed in the media or online?

Yes. Your name, biography, and photo will be displayed on the Youth Council’s website once the members have been announced publicly. Your name could also be mentioned in various communications products and in the media. This is part of the reason why Youth Council members sign a consent form.

24. If I already applied and was not selected, can I apply again for the next round of selection?

Yes. You will be able to apply in future selection rounds if you are still aged 16 to 24 at that time.

25. If I applied previously, do I need to resubmit my application to be considered in a future round?

When the next application period is announced, you will have the opportunity to submit a new application if you wish. Submitting a new application is completely up to you; your existing application will automatically be included in the next application pool. The next application period for the Prime Minister’s Youth Council will be announced on canada.ca/youth, and if you are signed up to receive updates on youth issues, you will receive a notification.

26. Do I have to be Canadian in order to apply? Do I have to submit proof of residency, citizenship, or age with my application?

You must be a Canadian citizen, a landed immigrant, or protected person in order to apply. You do not need to submit proof of your identity with your online application. However, if you are contacted for the next steps of the selection process, you will need to provide satisfactory proof to establish your identity.

27. Can I apply if I am a Canadian living abroad?

Yes. We will review individual cases once candidates are selected for the interviews and for the final selection.

28. Can I apply in person, using regular mail, etc.?

We will accept applications submitted using the online form only. If you have little or no Internet access, experience other barriers to using the online form or are seeking an accommodation for special needs, please get in touch with us. Accommodations will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

29. How long will it take me to fill out the application online?

Some questions on the application require careful reflection and for others you may need to consult your records (for example: volunteer hours). You should plan to spend a few hours preparing your application to ensure that it is the best possible, and most accurate, representation of yourself.

30. Does the information in my application remain confidential?

The personal information you provide in this application will be used for three purposes only:

  1. Selecting members of the Prime Minister’s Youth Council;
  2. Sending you email updates about youth issues; and
  3. With your express consent, disclosing to / sharing with government institutions (as defined in section 3 of the Privacy Act) if there is a youth engagement opportunity in an area that you identify in this application as being of interest to you.

Your personal information contained in your responses to the application will only be accessed by those parties directly involved in the above activities, and its confidentiality is protected under the Privacy Act.

Also, the candidates who are selected to become members of the Prime Minister’s Youth Council will be asked to write a brief biography that will be released online. This biography may be written by the members themselves and thus will only contain information that the members wish to include.

31. How can I get in touch with you if the applications are not open?

Click on the “Contact us” section of our website and follow the next steps.

32. May I nominate someone else for the Youth Council?

No. Each applicant must fill out their own online form.

Selection process for the Youth Council

33. What happens to my application once I submit it? How are applications screened?

After the application periods close (the next call for applications is expected to be in the fall of 2017), government officials review and evaluate the applications received and contact only those selected to proceed to the second stage.

34. How do you select the members of the Youth Council?

In the first stage, three sets of approximately 100 applicants are chosen from all the applicants to form a pool of approximately 300 people who proceed to the second stage.

The first set is made up of approximately 100 applicants with the highest scores in community engagement in each region of Canada and one region designated for Canadians outside Canada to recognize their engagement efforts. The second set is made up of 100 randomly selected applicants in order to achieve a broad representation of all youth applicants and to give everyone who applied a chance to be considered. The third set of approximately 100 applicants is formed based on diversity indicators, to ensure that the large pool of approximately 300 advancing to the second stage is fully representative of the diversity of Canada.

The second stage of the selection process invites the approximately 300 selected applicants to participate in a video interview and submit their résumés online, with references. Only those selected for this second stage of the selection process are contacted. This additional information is used to select the top candidates based on their capacity to contribute diverse perspectives to the Prime Minister’s Youth Council. We then review the video interviews, references, and résumés, and then contact those who are proceeding to the final stage.

35. When can I expect to be contacted for the video interview stage?

If you are chosen to proceed to the second stage of the selection process, you will be contacted within approximately six weeks after the application deadline, which will be announced closer to the next round of selection (the next call for applications is expected to be in the fall of 2017).

36. What if I live in a community with little or no Internet access?

If you are selected for the video interview stage but the Internet infrastructure in your community creates barriers to submitting the video, please get in touch with us. Accommodations will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

37. After I pass the first stage, what will the interview be like?

We will ask you a few questions using an online video where you will be asked to provide your answers using video responses. This process, done using an online platform, mimics a live interview, but enables you to answer our questions from your computer or your mobile device. The online system allows you to practise your answers before you record them. You will also be asked to upload your résumé on this system, so be sure to have it ready in PDF format.

Additional interviews may be conducted as deemed necessary. Due to both the confidential nature of the selection process and the high number of applicants, only those selected for further consideration will be contacted regarding the next stages of the process.

38. How do I prepare for my interview if I make it to the next stage?

First and foremost, be yourself! Don’t overanalyze it, don’t overthink it. We do suggest that you reflect on your community engagement and your life experiences since this will shape the advice that successful candidates will give to the Prime Minister on issues that matter to them and to their peers.

39. Will in-person interviews be conducted?

Additional interviews may be conducted as deemed necessary. Due to both the confidential nature of the selection process and the high number of applicants, only those selected for further consideration will be contacted regarding the next stages of the process.

40. Who can I use for a reference? Why do you have to check references?

It all depends on who can verify the facts that you have included in your written submission. For example it can be a teammate or the captain of your sports team, a professor, a teacher, a member of your family whom you support through caregiving, or someone you serve or who supervises you through volunteering. This person should be able to describe your role, your experience, and attest to your level of engagement. We may check references to ensure that everyone has a fair chance in the application process. We only request references in the interview phase.

41. If I am not able to submit my application by the deadline, may I have an extension?

No. Extensions cannot be granted (the next call for applications is expected to be in the fall of 2017).

42. What types of security checks are required to become a member of the Youth Council?

A standard security check will be conducted for those candidates who are selected to be Youth Council members. This background check will require verification from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and an open source check (your comments made online). Please note that more information including what forms to fill out will be provided to the candidates who are selected to be Youth Council members.

43. I hold a valid security clearance from the Government of Canada / a provincial / a territorial government department. Am I still required to undergo another security check to become a member of the Youth Council?

Yes. The security check process for Youth Council appointments is still required even for those candidates who possess a valid security clearance from a federal, provincial, or territorial government.

44. Will I have to submit a résumé during the application process (curriculum vitae)?

Yes. Those moving to the second stage of the application process will have to upload their résumé at the same time as they do their video interview. If you do not have a résumé you can submit a short document that summarizes your education, work, and community involvement up until now with approximate dates and short descriptions of the kind of work and involvement that you took part in.

45. What can I do in anticipation of the next recruitment campaign?

The next call for applications is expected to be in the fall of 2017. In anticipation, continue getting involved in your community and in other opportunities organized by the Government of Canada. If you have signed up for updates on youth issues including the updates on the applications for the Prime Minister’s Youth Council, we will inform you by email of the requirements and deadlines for the next phase of the Youth Council recruitment campaign. This will give you a chance to update your application and fulfill any additional requirement for future application processes.

46. I am over the age of 24. How can I get involved?

Using the online form, you can sign up to receive email updates about youth issues and opportunities to participate in activities or provide your input on important policy and program work with the Government of Canada.

47. I am under the age of 16. How can I get involved?

Using the online form, you can sign up to receive email updates about youth issues and opportunities to participate in activities or provide your input on important policy and program work with the Government of Canada.

Information for parents

48. Do I have to pay anything for my child to attend the Youth Council meetings?

No. All costs associated with travel and accommodations (meals and transportation included) will be covered by the Government of Canada. A complete list for the reimbursement of reasonable expenses incurred while travelling on government business can be found online.

49. Do I have to sign a consent form in order for my child to travel and attend the Youth Council meetings?

Depending on your child’s age we will provide you with a consent form if needed.

50. Will someone meet my child at the airport or train station when they arrive at the meeting location?

For all Youth Council members who are under the age of 18, a representative will meet them and ensure that they get to the meeting place and hotel safely.

51. Will an adult be present to supervise my child during Youth Council activities?

There are facilitators and officials at Youth Council meetings. A person who has the proper security clearance will be present to supervise activities during the meetings.

52. As a parent, can I accompany my child on their way to their meeting with the Youth Council? Can I stay for the meetings?

You can travel with your child before their meetings with the Youth Council but you will have to pay for all of your own costs including travel, hotel, and meals. While meetings may include some public engagement activities, most sessions are closed and parents will not be able to attend. However our facilitators will oversee the meetings.

53. My child is a minor. Will they be supervised outside of meeting hours?

Measures will be taken to ensure your child’s safety. For example a person with the proper security clearance will oversee those who require supervision.

54. If my child has special needs, will those be addressed?

Yes. Accommodations for special needs or disabilities are provided according to Youth Council members’ specific situations.

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