Government of Canada reneges on its word and abandons communities and
youth across Canada -
MONTREAL, April 5, 2012 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada and Canadian
Heritage Minister James Moore abandoned Katimavik communities and
Canadian youth wanting to volunteer with Katimavik to misinformation in
its 2012 Budget last Thursday. The Government also repudiated its own
three-year funding commitment to the program, which was designed to put
Katimavik on a path towards funding diversification.
"This decision affects more than just the young Canadians who complete
our programs," said Katimavik CEO Daniel Lapointe, "More than 50
communities we work in across Canada will no longer be able to count on
Katimavik volunteers and some not-for-profits may be forced to shut
down while the others will need to reduce service without this vital
volunteer support. It is truly a sad day for Canada and the values we
espouse of civic engagement and support for those in need."
The cohort that is currently in the field will be the last one sponsored
by the Federal Government, pulling the rug from under the nearly 600
incoming volunteers who were expecting to begin their 6-month program
in July 2012. These dedicated and committed young Canadians have been
given little notice, and will find it difficult to find alternative
schooling or job opportunities.
"We are requesting an urgent meeting with Minister Moore to discuss how
we can fulfill the commitment made to the nearly 600 young Canadians
now placed in limbo," said Daniel Lapointe. "We also want to discuss
how we can alleviate any of the Minister's concerns to find a common
solution to restore funding for Katimavik's mission."
Katimavik: The Facts
The Government suggested in its Budget that the Katimavik program
concentrated funding on a very small number of participants at an
excessive per-person cost. This is contradicted in the most recent
summative evaluation drafted by an independent third party on behalf of
Canadian Heritage staff. Senior federal officials concluded that
Katimavik is relevant, valuable and important, and is consistent with
government-wide priorities and strategic objectives.
The facts are that Katimavik is a non-partisan program that not only
provides Canadian taxpayers with an excellent return on investment, but
that it is also entirely consistent with the principles of
self-reliance and volunteerism that all parties in Parliament share.
Katimavik delivers national programs that are universally accessible to
Canadian youth between 17-21 from all walks of life, from all social
backgrounds and from all over Canada. Our retention rate of 85% is
excellent, contrary to what a recent article cites Minister Moore
claiming. First year university retention rates are only 70%.
The value of the volunteer work performed by the more than 1000
volunteers each year is estimated to be worth nearly $12 million per
year. The ratio of administrative costs in Katimavik is 12%, which
means that 88% of its budget goes directly to projects.
For further information:
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