Ontario Creating More Opportunities for Youth to Shape Policy
New Digital Tools Boost Youth Civic Engagement, Improve Youth Outcomes
Ontario is giving young people across the province more opportunity to voice the issues that matter the most to them.
Michael Coteau, Minister of Children and Youth Services, and Deb Matthews, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Digital Government, were at the WE Global Learning Centre in Toronto today to launch YouthVoiceON, a new online platform that will make it easier for youth in Ontario, ages 14 to 29, to talk directly with government about policy development.
Every month, YouthVoiceON will feature a new topic with questions to spark new conversations, and feedback will help shape the design of future government programs. The first topic will cover post-secondary education and will ask youth about the barriers they may face as they consider university, college or an apprenticeship after high school.
There are many ways to join the conversation, including on Twitter by using #OnPSEaccess or #ONyouth, or anonymously on the YouthVoiceON website.
Engaging youth in policymaking is part of the province's plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.
- Youth are more connected today than ever before. In 2015, nine in 10 millennials in Canada owned a smartphone.
- At-risk youth are avid social media users. Many homeless youth maintain a Facebook profile and youth with disabilities spend an average of 18 hours a week on social media.
- Ontario entered the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in 2016, joining more than 75 countries committed to making government more open. YouthVoiceON is one of the OGP’s 2017 Action Plan Commitments.
“YouthVoiceON delivers on our commitment to listen to youth voices and mobilize their energy and interest in influencing policy decisions that affect them. I encourage youth to start using the tool today and participate in a vital conversation that will help shape public policy and improve their futures.”
“Change happens when people put creative ideas forward and are willing to work together to make them a reality. We need the fresh perspectives that youth bring to the complex and urgent issues we face as a province. YouthVoiceON is a digital platform that will help draw out those ideas and get youth engaged, no matter what their background, in making a real difference in Ontario.”
“Empowering young people to share their voices with government is a significant step toward engaging with more users of our services. Their feedback is critical to making government programs and services simpler, faster and better for people.”