si-cgy-katimavik

Katimavik volunteers at work. (Katimavik Facebook page)

Fourteen agencies in Calgary won't be getting the summer help they were counting on after Ottawa stopped funding a national youth volunteer program.

Last week’s federal budget eliminated the $15-million program, called Katimavik, with the Conservative government saying its per -person cost was too high.

More than 30,000 people have participated in the Trudeau-era program since its inception.

Katimavik took young people from across the country and gave them volunteer experiences in other provinces while living with other young people.

Participants volunteer with non-profit organizations during the day, and would also billet them with community members for a short time.   

The non-profit agencies that work out of the Old Y on 12th Avenue S.W. were taken by surprise by Katimavik’s demise, said facility manager Sonia Edworthy.

"In terms of work hours it's a huge loss because they're here full-time so that's eight hours five days a week. They're able to do hundreds of tasks," she said.

Green Calgary spokeswoman Patricia Cameron said the volunteers would have worked in the store and on sales of rain barrels and composters this summer.

"We still keep in touch with some of the Katimavik volunteers that have been through our offices in the last five years. So it is very sad to see that the funding has been cut ," said Cameron.

A final group of Katimavik volunteers already working in the city will finish off their term in June.