NEWS RELEASE · 3rd April 2012
MP Nathan Cullen - Ottawa
Canadians from coast, to coast, to coast are outraged with the announcement that the 35-year-old youth volunteer program Katimavik will be eliminated in this year’s budget.
“I worked with Katimavik,” said MP Nathan Cullen (Skeena-Bulkley Valley). “It’s an outstanding program that brings young Canadians together to forge life-long friendships, give back to their community, and increase cultural understanding and care for the environment.”
Katimavik has offered programs off and on in the Northwest for years and has been a positive power for the community.
“We are not going to let this go. The program costs $14 million dollars. One F-35 fighter jet engine costs of $26 million. We need to get our priorities straight.”
Katimavik, which means “meeting place” in Inuktitut, was founded in 1977. It has grown to include more than 1200 youth participants per year, volunteering 964, 200 hours in 94 communities in Canada.
“This program brings people together to learn from each other and work together to build a better country,” said Cullen
When the Mulroney government cancelled the program in the 1980s, founder Jacques Hébert went on hunger strike for three weeks in protest. It wasn’t until the mid-1990s that the program was back off the ground.
Besides building community, Katimavik alumni credit their experience to increased employability, which is increasingly invaluable in today’s uncertain economy.
“I grew as a person while working with the organization. It showed me the possibilities of Canadians and of this country,” said Cullen.
Comment by Pat#1 on 3rd April 2012
This is ridiculious! Katimavik is a wonderful program offering so much. It is a shame to lose it. Hopefully clear heads will prevail and the funding will be reinstated.