January 19, 1973 (29th Parliament, 1st Session)


Reginald Cyril Symes

New Democratic Party

Mr. Symes:

If we are interested in young people, I think we will find that there are great opportunities for putting their enthusiasm and talent to good use. I find that young people are much concerned about the quality of life, about our environment, about pollution and about all the destruction that they see. I am sure a ministry of state concerned with youth could put young people to work on programs such as cleaning up the environment and making this country a better place in which to live. I know young people are also concerned about social services and are willing to help others such as the disadvantaged and those living in slums. I am sure their expertise and enthusiasm could also be used in social services involving day care centres and the like. Young people are interested in peace and harmony, not only in the world but in our nation.
Such a ministry, Mr. Speaker, would give the young people of Canada an excellent opportunity to become acquainted with one another. I am thinking especially of young people of French Canadian or English Canadian backgrounds. Perhaps, if they come to know one another, we can overcome some of the differences that are the bane of adults in Canada. So if we are to provide opportunities for work in those areas, I think a ministry of state along the lines I have suggested would be very profitable.
If such a ministry is to be set up, it is essential that young people become involved in it. This is one of the merits of the Opportunities for Youth program. I commend the Secretary of State for the degree of involvement of young people in this program. If such a ministry is set up, the only way it will be a success is to involve young people in the planning, organization and execution of the projects that they themselves design.
In conclusion, the motion does have some merit but only if it is expanded to include young people and to the point of concentrating on providing meaningful jobs for these young people and not, as the mover seemed to express, a desire to concentrate on sports.

Full View