#CanadaWeWant 2024 – Giving Canadian youth a voice in their future

Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges: Youth Envisioning a Bold Tomorrow

The Student's Commission of Canada (SCC) logo (CNW Group/Students Commission of Canada)

TORONTO, March 5, 2024 /CNW/Today marks the culmination of the 2024 #CanadaWeWant Conference, a transformative annual event that engages Canadian youth to address critical issues facing them, their communities and the entire country. Led by the Students Commission of Canada (SCC) in partnership with RBC Future Launch and funded by the Government of Canada, this groundbreaking conference provides a platform for young Canadians to voice their concerns, share their ideas and work together towards solutions.

“We believe in the power of young people to drive positive change in our society,” said Sharif Mahdy, CEO of Students Commission of Canada. “The #CanadaWeWant Youth Movement and Conference Series mobilizes youth from across the country to take action on key issues that are important to them.”

The 2024 #CWW Conference brought together 150 youth and adult allies with diverse backgrounds from across Canada to engage in meaningful discussions, collaborate on solutions and explore topics shaping the future of our country. From substance use, addiction and mental health to housing security, online safety, body image and environmental concerns, the conference sparked conversations around the increasingly complex challenges that confront today’s youth.

Youth teams developed actionable items and presented them directly to policy and decision-makers in government, corporations and youth-serving organizations at a national showcase sponsored by RBC Future Launch in downtown Toronto.

Their recommendations included initiatives such as programs for youth transitioning out of foster care to new housing, a first-dose program for people recovering from their first overdose, and the development of an app that works in conjunction with Kids Help Phone to offer comprehensive resources for health and eating, called ‘Kids Health App’. Students also called for the government to enforce regulations to discourage bad actors in AI and facilitate its positive use, as well as the prioritization of Bill S-233, a framework for guaranteed livable basic income.

“We are thrilled by the passion, dedication and innovative thinking demonstrated by the youth participants,” said Mahdy. “Their recommendations are powerful and have the potential to drive significant policy change in our society.”

For many students, #CanadaWeWant represents an opportunity to be part of a larger movement for change. “Many of us have a voice and want to be heard, but feel like we can’t make a difference on our own,” said Roy Murnaghan, a student leader attending the #CWW conference for his third time. “#CanadaWeWant allows us to come together, share ideas and realize that together we can drive meaningful change in our communities and across the country.”

“RBC is committed to strengthening the workforce of tomorrow by equipping youth with the skills needed for a thriving future,” said Mark Beckles, Vice President Social Impact & Innovation, RBC. “With partners like the Students Commission of Canada, we’re working to empower young leaders by providing them with opportunities and platforms for engagement such as the 2024 #CanadaWeWant conference which helps drive more equitable prosperity in our communities.”

Examples of past #CWW student initiatives have led to tangible impacts on youth policy and programs. This includes informing knowledge mobilization products and resources for British Columbia’s high school sexual education curriculum in 2023, launching a Truth Leading Reconciliation workshop series in 2022-2023 that reached over 1000 youth, generating recommendations for UNICEF Canada’s 2022 report on youth experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic, partnering with Kids Help Phone to enhance mental health resources and platforms in 2021, and providing direct input into Canada’s Youth Policy in 2018-2019.

To learn more about RBC Future Launch, visit rbc.com/futurelaunch

To learn more about SCC, visit studentscommission.ca

Students Commission of Canada (SCC)

SCC is a national inter-generational charitable organization that partners with others to ensure that young people’s voices are heard and valued so that their ideas for improving themselves, their peers and their communities are put into action. SCC has been facilitating the #CanadaWeWant Conference since 2017 and championing youth engagement since 1991.

SOURCE Students Commission of Canada