Summer is an important time in Canada. It’s those two to three precious months we Canadians have to book off time to be outdoors, at cottages, travelling, spending time with the kids while out of school, and our friends on a patio. It’s not a time most of us are tuned into politics. But here we are - five weeks into a nearly three-month federal election campaign, and I’m encouraging you to pay close attention. Here’s why:
Investing in our future
In order to add highly capable, highly skilled workers to Canada’s labour force, Canada is going to need a significant federal investment strategy in national initiatives that provide youth with much-needed exposure to the post-secondary world and that connect them to emerging new careers of tomorrow. In an increasingly knowledge-based, digital economy, these initiatives must focus on equipping youth with skills and experiences to lead future innovation. Are any of the federal parties committing to these sorts of investments?
Supporting Entrepreneurship and STEM
While we can’t know what jobs will emerge for our youth, we do know that as our economy shifts from resource based to knowledge based, essential skills in STEM, digital literacy and computer science will be the driving factors that shape our next generation of future leaders and innovators. Other essential skills like critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration and entrepreneurship will also be foundational for all youth.
A strong STEM sector is essential for Canada’s future social and economic prosperity. If and when a federal party candidate comes knocking on your door, ask them: “What would you do, if elected, to support our future leaders in STEM?”
There are 5.5 Million Millennials in Canada...
...But only 38.8% of them voted in the 2011 election. These are our up and coming leaders, and unlike past generations, Canadian youth today are not opting into the democratic process. I encourage you to take a moment and think about why this is. Are any of the federal parties making an effort to directly engage, and inspire youth through new opportunities?
Now is the time to pay attention. Whether you’re a millennial, a parent, a professional, a student - whatever your status, follow along this campaign so that you can be confident and informed when voting for Canada’s future decision-makers. It’s as easy as following the hashtag #Elxn2015 or #Elxn42.
I know I want to see more opportunities for a thriving generation of STEM innovators - what will you look for?