On International Youth Day, YMCA Canada and YWCA Canada launch plan to support youth and prevent a ‘lockdown generation’ in Canada

YMCA Canada and YWCA Canada join forces to release a 6-point plan to build back better with a focus on economic recovery for young people in Canada.

TORONTO, August 12, 2021 – On International Youth Day, two of Canada’s largest youth-serving organizations, YMCA Canada and YWCA Canada are launching a youth-focused recovery plan to address the dire circumstances young people are facing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report, titled ‘Preventing a Lockdown Generation – A plan to support Canada’s youth in post-pandemic recovery’ features a 6-pronged roadmap that offers a range of actions the Federal government and others can take to support young people in post-pandemic recovery and prevent what the International Labour Organization has called a ‘lockdown generation’. This includes prioritizing meaningful employment for young people, supporting their mental health, and ensuring safe and secure housing for all through measures that combat homelessness and the housing affordability crisis. 

Peter Dinsdale, President and CEO of YMCA Canada highlighted why this focus is essential, “Young people today are navigating a complex set of challenges that have only heightened during the pandemic. Whether it’s securing meaningful employment, accessing mental health services that meet their needs, or entering the housing market, the challenges have never been greater.” Dinsdale shared, “To build toward the Canada we want, we must recognize our economic recovery will be incomplete without addressing the needs of young people. That means investing in young people and the organizations that support them.”

According to Statistics Canada, during the pandemic, Canada reached the highest rate of youth not in employment, education or training (NEET) in nearly two decades and the NEET rate was more pronounced for youth from diverse equity-deserving communities. 

Maya Roy, CEO of YWCA Canada and Member of Canada’s Taskforce on Women in the Economy outlined, “Young people are not just the leaders of tomorrow, they are leading right now. But they need our support urgently to ensure they don’t experience the ‘economic scarring’ of this time for decades to come.” Roy emphasized, “The situation is even more challenging for young people experiencing multiple forms of marginalization such as young women and gender diverse youth, Black, Indigenous, and racialized youth, 2SLGBTQIAA+ youth, newcomer youth and youth with disabilities.”

For more information, visit www.PreventingALockdownGeneration.ca 

To unpack the issues further, YMCA Canada and YWCA Canada are hosting a public event on Wednesday, August 18th, 2021 from 12 noon to 1 pm ET. The event will feature opening remarks by Anjum Sultana, National Director of Public Policy & Strategic Communications at YWCA Canada and a pan-Canadian panel discussion moderated by Jessica Stepic Lue, Vice President of Government Relations and Advocacy at YMCA Canada.

Registration is now open: https://preventing-a-lockdown-generation-in-canada.eventbrite.ca