Ontario youth can talk directly with government through YouthVoiceOn

Michael Coteau

Is the Ontario government listening to what young people in the province have to say about

issues that matter to most to them?

And are the young  people themselves tuned in to government  policies and plans that have a

direct bearing on their lives?

Well, a series of conversations between government and young people is about the begin

through YouthVoiceON, a new online platform that is aimed at making it easier for youth in

Ontario, ages 14 to 29, to talk directly with government about policy development.

On Monday, Michael Coteau, Minister of Children and Youth Services, and Deb Matthews, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Digital Government, launched YouthVoiceON at the WE Global Learning Centre in Toronto.

” 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 them to start using the tool today and participate in a vital conversation that will help shape public policy and improve their futures,”  said Coteau at  the launch.

Matthews  noted  that ” 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,” she added.

A  news release from  the Ministry of Children  and Youth Affairs said that every month YouthVoiceON will feature a new topic with questions to spark new conversations, and that feedback will help shape the design of future government programs.

The first topic will cover post-secondary education and the barriers which young people may face as they consider university, college or an apprenticeship after high school will be discussed, the release noted.

According to  the release, there will be many ways to join the conversation, including on Twitter by using #OnPSEaccess or #ONyouth, or anonymously on the YouthVoiceON website.

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