Statement by Minister Chagger and Minister Qualtrough on International Youth Day


OTTAWA, August 12, 2021

On International Youth Day, we celebrate youth across the country and the important role they play in building a more sustainable, resilient and inclusive Canada.

This year’s theme, “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health”, focuses on the importance of creating a better future for generations to come. This cannot be achieved without the meaningful participation and contributions of young people. To support and empower youth in their efforts, the Government of Canada is committed to engaging with youth and giving them a voice to influence the decisions that affect them now, and in the future.

Youth have unique experiences and innovative ideas to address the exceptional challenges the world is currently facing. Yesterday, we released Canada’s first-ever State of Youth Report, to generate greater awareness of how Canada’s youth are doing and highlight the opportunities and challenges faced by Canadian youth, in their own words. The report is not only for youth, and informed by engagements with youth, but also largely written by youth. It is part of government’s ongoing dialogue with young people, which will continue to amplify youth voices, those on the Prime Minister’s Youth Council and beyond, regarding the issues that matter most to them.

When young people are learning, working and succeeding, our communities and country benefit. Building a stronger Canada for generations to come depends on young people getting the right education, the right experience and the right job opportunities. That is why the government has put in place many initiatives to ensure youth have equal opportunities and a chance to succeed.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the government has created over 300,000 youth and student employment opportunities and provided income support to over 700,000 students through the Canada Emergency Student Benefit. As part of Budget 2021, the government is also investing more than $5.7 billion over the next five years to help young Canadians pursue and complete their education, to provide additional relief from student loan debt for young graduates, and to enable them to access more work opportunities. Taken together, the Government of Canada’s response to the current crisis represents one of the largest youth support packages in the world.

Youth are not only passionate, driven and actively advocating for a better future, they are the future. Across Canada and around the world, we are taking time today to celebrate the astounding contributions and achievements of diverse and resilient young people everywhere. By investing in our young people today, we are securing Canada’s growth and economic prosperity for generations to come.


For more information (media only), please contact:

Riyadh Nazerally
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

Ashley Michnowski
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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