What is a youth policy?

A youth policy is a commitment to create a vision for youth – by youth, which can guide the priorities and actions of governments and society, and ensure that youth voices are heard and respected.

The Government of Canada wants to make this commitment and create a Youth Policy that will be a tool to help achieve goals that are important to youth and that will have a meaningful, long-lasting impact for all young Canadians.

A youth policy can take many forms and that’s why we want to hear from the diverse Canadian youth to shape it. There are many examples to consider from around the world. Some include strategies that map out a vision of youth (e.g. National Strategy for Young Australians) and may include guidelines (e.g. Germany’s Guidelines for a New Federal Youth Policy) or themes (e.g. Japan’s Vision for Children and Young People). Measures of youth outcomes can be included (e.g. Ontario’s Stepping up: A Strategic Framework to Help Ontario’s Youth Succeed) and specific actions or investments may be included (e.g. Quebec’s La Stratégie d'action jeunesse 2016-2021, available in French only.) Some countries have also chosen to implement legislation (e.g. Finland’s Youth Act) to ensure that government commitments to youth are concrete.

The general definition of youth is the period from childhood to independence, and Statistics Canada collects data on youth from ages 15 to 34. While the objective of our engagement is to hear directly from Canada’s youth, others with particular expertise are welcome to share their ideas.

We need your help to...

  • identify issues important to youth and solutions to improve the lives of young Canadians;
  • examine the supports that enable all youth, regardless of their background, to be Canada’s leaders; and
  • understand how youth want their voices to be heard and how youth want to influence the Government of Canada’s actions and decisions.

As you think about your response, you may want to have more information about how youth in Canada are doing. Statistics Canada has put together a comprehensive set of statistics in their document A Portrait of Canadian Youth.

You may also be interested in learning more about the wide range of Government of Canada youth services and initiatives that already exist. You can also find out about commitments that the Government of Canada has made regarding youth in the 2017 Budget.

Some issues or ideas may fall outside the purview of the Government of Canada's youth policy (e.g. more properly fall under the responsibility of provincial, territorial or municipal governments) or ‎would benefit from the perspective of our Indigenous partners. Nevertheless, we encourage you to submit your ideas and we will ‎be sure to share them as appropriate. 

There are many ways to get involved and share your views on the youth policy, so let’s get started!