October 4, 2017: The Commonwealth and Youth - The Canadian Government's Focus on Youth
To RCS Members and Supporters
It is with great pleasure that we invite you to our October 4th Event to listen to Mr. Peter Schiefke, MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister for Youth and Member of Parliament. Mr. Schiefke will share the latest news with respect to Canada’s position on supporting Commonwealth Youth. The title of his talk will be:
The Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting in Kampala and the Canadian Government’s Focus on Youth
Mr. Schiefke represented Canada at the Ninth Commonwealth Youth Ministers meeting which was held in Kampala, Uganda, from 31 July to 4 August 2017. The theme of the meeting was 'Resourcing and Financing Youth Development: Empowering Young People'. This meeting enabled government ministers and senior officials to share good practices, forge new partnerships and agree upon shared priorities for resourcing youth development. Commonwealth governments have pledged to redouble efforts to “bridge the gap” in financing young people’s development.
In their joint communique, the youth ministers recognized that young people make a “critical contribution” to national development, while acknowledging that “huge challenges” exist in financing young people’s needs, including their education and health. Ministers agreed to “mainstream youth priorities across all stages of policy-making and public spending, and ensure they are integrated with national development and sustainable financing strategies.” In their declaration, the ministers said they would pursue policies to promote the professionalization of youth work and promote youth and social entrepreneurship and financial inclusion, as well as innovative financing mechanisms, such as youth impact bonds. They agreed to encourage the private sector to “take steps to address the skills gap and provide more apprenticeships and decent entry-level jobs for young people”. Responding to the concerns of the youth leaders about a “digital divide” and the rise of disruptive technologies, the ministers also agreed to take steps to promote digital literacy and skills training and education.
RCS Ottawa has been a leader in Commonwealth Youth development for 45 years with the National Student Commonwealth Forum (NSCF). This year, the population of the Commonwealth will surpass 2.4 billion, of which more than 60 percent will be aged 29 or under (or 1.44 billion). One in three young people aged between 15 and 29 in the world, now live in Commonwealth countries (i.e., about 640 million youth). Today, the youth sector stands at a crossroads, with pressure on governments to do more for their young citizens with fewer resources. This reality must be juxtapositioned with the growing aspirations by young people to contribute to their societies. In this regard, one of the priorities for the April, 2018, Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting (CHOGM) will be ”to revitalize and reinvigorate the Commonwealth, working to cement its relevance for today’s young people and future generations.”
Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said: “Our goal was to build a consensus on the priorities we must pursue to enable young people to play a positive and active role in promoting development, peace and democracy. “
Speaker: Mr. Peter Schiefke
Title: The Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting in Kampala and the Canadian Government’s Focus on Youth
Place: The RCAF Officers’ Mess, 158 Gloucester St., Ottawa
Date: Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Time: 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Cost: Members - $10
Non-Members - $15
Students - $5
The first 30 students will be free if they email firstname.lastname@example.org
Email – President@rcs-ottawa.ca
Phone – RCS President - 613 600 0190
Biography – Mr. Peter Schiefke, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister for Youth Affairs
Peter Schiefke was first elected to the House of Commons in the 2015 federal election. On December 2, 2015, he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister for Youth Affairs. An expert in sustainable and community development, Mr. Schiefke co-founded and served as the President of Youth Action Canada, which promotes youth involvement in fighting climate change. Mr. Schiefke formerly served as the National Director of Climate Reality Canada, the Canadian branch of an organization founded by former United States Vice President Al Gore to educate people on environmental matters. He was also a co-founder of the non-profit Concordia Volunteer Abroad Program (CVAP), which helps victims of civil war in Eastern Africa.
From a young age, growing up in Hudson, Quebec, Peter Schiefke has had a passion for humanitarian, environmental, and social causes. This led him to found a number of projects and organizations, including We Will Always Remember, which pays tribute to veterans, for which he was given a Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation in 2003. Peter also cofounded the Concordia Volunteer Abroad Program (CVAP), a non-profit organization that helps victims of the civil war in East Africa. CVAP has received numerous awards over the years, including the 2008 Entraide, Paix et Justice award from Forces Avenir, and the 2010 YMCAs of Quebec Peace Medal. Until recently, Peter served as a member of CVAP’s Board of Directors, and was responsible for its fundraising efforts.
An expert in sustainable and community development, Peter cofounded and served as the President of Youth Action Canada, which promotes youth involvement in fighting climate change. More recently, he served as National Director of Climate Reality Canada, the Canadian division of an organization founded by former United States Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Al Gore, which seeks to educate people on environmental issues. Peter holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Concordia University and a Master of Science in Renewable Resources from McGill University.