• James Armstrong

Federal financial support available for local youth initiatives


PHOTO COURTESY THE OFFICE OF MP PETER SCHIEFKE

Social media was the vehicle for recently rolling out youth initiatives across the country by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (right) and Member of Parliament for Vaudreuil-Soulanges Peter Schiefke who also serves as Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister for Youth.

A financial support initiative launched Tuesday, January 16 by the federal government through the Canada Services Corps aims at providing young Canadians with opportunities to serve their communities. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Member of Parliament for Vaudreuil-Soulanges Peter Schiefke who also serves as Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister for Youth made the announcement on Instagram.

“Basically, this is a national program that was included in our first budget,” said Schiefke in an interview Tuesday, January 23. He added the $105 million program would be paid out over four years.

“The money has been parked while we did national consultations with youth stakeholders and groups to determine how best to roll this out,” said Schiefke.

Three segments of funding

According to Schiefke, the first segment of funding will go to national partners such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada and YMCA Canada. At the Quebec level, support has been earmarked for Chantiers jeunesse, an international volunteering program, and Apathy is Boring, a national non-partisan project aiming to increase youth political participation.

Community based organizations

“The second segment is where it gets interesting for local organizations,” said Schiefke, describing how local community organizations working with youth are eligible to apply for up to $500,000 per year for two years. “The purpose is to provide resources and support to organizations that are using innovative ways of reaching out and providing service opportunities for youth,” he added.

Schiefke said there is a statistical reality that 80 per cent of youth volunteer work is done by 20 percent of the same youth.

“There is a larger segment of youth who are not engaged. We are looking at how we can develop a sense of community service across the country starting at the grassroots level,” he said. The program also focuses on those marginalized by existing barriers such as Indigenous, lower socio-economic background, and LGBTQ2 youth. Applications for this segment of funding is through the Canada Service Corps.

The third segment is directly funding youth with micro-grants through TakingITGloba, a platform for artistic expressions which raise awareness through the arts. Individuals may apply for micro-grants of $250, $750, and $1,500 for community initiatives that will benefit other youth. Applications for the micro-grants can be done online at funding.tigweb.org.

Deadlines

There are application deadlines to observe. For the micro-grants, the deadlines range from Wednesday, January 31 to Saturday, March 31. Applications for organization and group funding through the Canada Service Corps must be submitted by Saturday, March 31. Further information and applications are available at www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/funding/projects-youth-serving-organizations.html.

Help with applications

Schiefke emphasized that help with the application process would be available through his constituency office at 223 St. Charles Avenue in Vaudreuil-Dorion.

“I’m also encouraging the Director Generals of the municipalities in Vaudreuil-Soulanges to work directly with my team to make sure that applications are filled out correctly,” he added. “We don’t want delays or possible rejections.”

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