All Trumped out? Here’s some life-affirming stuff young Canadians have to say about global issues to our PM (and it’s kind of 🔥)
If you find yourself responding with these emojis 😡 😭 😧 after being sent the fifth soul-destroying news article this week and you’re just about done… here’s something to remind you that things might one day be okay. And just in time for International Development Week.
Here at Engineers Without Borders, we spoke to over 500 young Canadians in January and asked them to share their thoughts with us on big global issues like access to healthcare for women and children, poverty reduction, and promoting gender equality. What we heard from them was an overwhelming amount of support for the government to do more. Nine in 10 (91%) of the young people we surveyed support combatting climate change, while 90% advocate for reducing poverty and 87% call for action on gender inequality. You can see all the stats from the survey and stories and videos of young Canadians speaking out here.
This made me feel better. This gave me hope that this key voting constituency is saying loud and clear to the government that they care about international cooperation, they care about the quality of life for those living outside of Canada and around the world, they want everyone to have a chance to thrive as they have in this country.
While support for action on global development is high, young Canadians don’t think we’re doing so great on this front. (JT: are you listening?)
Our survey found that only 9% of respondents believe Canada is either very or extremely successful at combating climate change. A little over half have confidence in the federal government to successfully achieve its international development agenda. And only 35% believe the federal government is responsive to the views of young Canadians on international development. (Yikes.)
This gap in confidence is not good. I asked my colleague Sasha Caldera, who leads our policy and campaigns work and is wonderfully wonkish, to provide some more background on this.
He said, “Canada has made some crucial commitments such as replenishing the Global Fund, and I was proud to see the Minister for International Development recently announce increases to international programming advancing women’s health and rights. Today, Canada has an opportunity to continue its legacy of international cooperation and strong leadership on this means increasing the level of predictable annual funding to the International Assistance Envelope (IAE) in our federal budget. Our survey says 87% of young Canadians believe the new U.S. administration will have a negative impact on global development, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should see this as a moment for Canada to be a leader.”
Got it, Sasha. So we’ve got some work ahead of us. But we can rest assured that the highly engaged young people of Canada will keep calling for action and asking their leader to represent their values. (JT: Hint hint. I really hope you’re listening.)
Tweet this or your own message of support to the PM and ask him to take action:
And join the conversation in one of our upcoming Twitter Q&As on Feb 8, 9 & 10 using #AskEWB.
Stay tuned for more stories from EWB during International Development Week!