Canadian Youth Council


In 2017, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mandated that MP’s engage young Canadians to provide non-partisan advice on local and national issues.


About COLAB’s role: Andy Fillmore MP asked COLAB to design and facilitate the Youth Council program for Halifax.  The Youth Council was a year long program where members met both online and in person several times in the course of a year to discuss issues that were important to their peers, community, and country.  Through the process, local issues were identified and action projects were developed to lead change on some of those issues. Those action projects were the central component of leadership capacity building, as an experiential learning experience, which the youth were supported throughout by Andy’s team (for content) and COLAB’s team (as process coaches).  The youth council was more than just an opportunity for MP’s to learn from young Canadians - it was an opportunity to be in partnership, to educate and empower one another to take action that positively impacted all Canadians. In the end, the process was beyond their expectation and we were asked to document the process in effort to improve the Youth Council program design for all MPs across the country. 

Young people are key to effective local and national decision making and positive outcomes for all citizens. Youth engagement is both a road to better community cohesion, resilience and a positive process in itself.

Youth are experts on their communities. They know the assets and strategies that contribute positively to their lives, as well as needs that are going unmet due to lack of attention, understanding or resources. When we listen and respond to this, we take advantage of youth as powerful assets for achieving better results. Dialogue with young people brings a fresh, firsthand perspective that helps local leaders gain insight into issues that concern all residents. In a rapidly changing world, youth are tuned into the fact that we need to do things differently, and have the energy and passion to find creative, lasting solutions.