Bill-64 Provincial Feedback Submission

Why make a feedback submission?

The London Youth Advisory Council believes in rethinking government, but we also believe in engaging with formal institutions. We want you to read what we have to say, but more importantly, we want you to think about the young people who do not participate in these processes because they feel excluded from government, politics, and society.

What is the London Youth Advisory Council?

The London Youth Advisory Council (LYAC) exists to give young people space to engage in critical conversations about the choices that societies and governments make. We encourage young people to dream big; to try, fail, and try again; to consider new perspectives and rewrite the rules of their worlds.

What is going on at the London Youth Advisory Council?

This year the LYAC has tackled conversations about mental health, the London Plan, the environment, income inequality, and transit. One concern that comes up frequently with young people is the prospect of meaningful employment. Particularly after post-secondary studies, young people are often worried about having a lack of experience in their field of study, which greatly affects their ability to secure relevant employment.

This submission reflects the thoughts and ideas discussed on Bill 64 during a meeting of several of the LYAC councillors. We want to make sure that you understand that we don’t speak for all of London’s young people because there are a lot of us! Youth opinion across London is as diverse as adult opinion, so we all have to be careful about thinking that we understand any singular ‘youth’ perspective.

With that said, we have chosen to focus on three areas of focus for this submission:

    1. The Definition of Service Learning
    2. Gender Inclusive Language
    3. Create Spaces for Youth with WIL experiences on the Advisory Council

Thank you for taking the time to think about our ideas, and to think critically about how to engage young people in the feedback process.

Sincerely,

The 2016/17 London Youth Advisory Councillors:

Ward 2 – Brandon Dickson

Ward 3 – Asala Aladl

Ward 14 – Mike Scafe

Feedback Suggestion #1: Defining Service Learning

We think that…

The definition of service learning should be rephrased from “work experience designed to foster civic or social responsibility and leadership..” (without comma), to “work experience designed to foster civic or social responsibility, and leadership..” (quote with comma).

We are thinking about this because…

Leadership is a very difficult concept to define, as what characteristics or actions make a leader can vary widely. One of the questions asked by a councillor was: “what if the work experience fosters civic or social responsibility, but not leadership?”. We want to recognize that not all service learning may be in a leadership role, and we want to make sure that those kinds of opportunities are included in this bill.

Feedback Suggestion #2: Gender Inclusive Language

We think that…

Under section 2, “not his or her”, should be replaced with the gender neutral pronoun “their”.

We are thinking about this because…

This language excludes people who have non-binary identities and we want to ensure that that the language in our legislation reflects the people that it aims to protect and include in it.

Feedback Suggestion #3: Create Spaces for Youth with WIL experiences on the Advisory Council.

We think that…

  • There should be designated spots on the advisory council for young people who have been in WIL programs
  • A part of the mandate of the advisory council should be for members to engage with the communities they represent through face-to-face interactions and focus groups, reporting back annually or semi-annually to the entire advisory council
  • That a sample of people who participate in WIL programs should be surveyed each year, to gauge the success of the program, and review parts that need more work

We are thinking about this because…

– Young people who have been in WIL programs understand how the program works, and can help identify any gaps in the policy.

– Having a community engagement as part of the mandate of the advisory council ensures that young people are as involved as possible in the processes of the council, and that stakeholders on the council are keeping in regular contact with the communities they represent

Questions Left to Answer:

  1. Is there a limit on the amount of time over a period, or per week, that someone in a WIL agreement can contribute?
  2. Who does one hold responsible for ensuring that a work-integrated learning placement is relevant to their degree and it works? And how do you hold them responsible?
  3. How will the advisory council make decisions? Will they be consensus based?