Katimavik volunteers work in a wide variety of placements, from farms and natural parks to seniors homes and city halls. (Katimavik/Facebook)
The federal government has pulled the plug on one of Canada's oldest and largest youth volunteer programs.
Katimavik, a Trudeau-era program, has been facilitating youth engagement in Canadian communities since 1977. Its participants, aged 17 to 21 only, live in groups of 10 and spend six months volunteering in communities across the country.
More than 30,000 Canadians have participated in the program.
The program has changed a lot over the years, but it has always been popular with youth who are interested in hands-on learning, trying out a variety of jobs and getting to know different regions of Canada.
"Katimagroups" are meant to reflect the diversity of Canada, and include both English- and French-speaking youth from big cities and small towns.
But the government considers the program too small and too expensive. In its budget, released Thursday, it said it would "eliminate the Katimavik program," and would focus instead on "funding programs that benefit large numbers of young people at a reasonable cost rather than concentrating available funding on a very small number of participants at an excessive per-person cost."
Katimavik reacted to the news with "extreme disappointment," and argued that social responsibility, civic involvement and job skills for young people are more necessary than ever.
"At a time when civic engagement and voter turnout are at an all-time low, when youth unemployment rates are double the national average, this is clearly the worst time to cut Katimavik," the group said on its website.
Alumni also shared their disappointment.
@Katimavik has changed my life I would not be the person I am today without it!! Love and support you Katimavik!!-- Kelly-Ann Cahill (@kellycahill) March 29, 2012
Lots of @Katimavik discussion on Facebook overnight.Many of us are wearing green shirts today in solidarity. Put yours on if you have one!-- Richard Allen (@RichardAlln) March 30, 2012
I learned what it meant to be an engaged Canadian citizen during @Katimavik. Isn't that what we should want more of for our youth?-- Mary Wilton (@MaryWilton) March 29, 2012
This is going to make me cry! Katimavik Changed my Life!! :'( Statement from Katimavik - reaction to budget katimavik.org/news/statement...-- Roland Gurney (@RolandGurney) March 30, 2012
Do you agree with the government's elimination of the program, or should it be saved, once again? Have you ever been involved with the Katimavik program, whether as a participant, a project leader, an partner organization or a billet family?
Share your memories in the field below.
(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)
More entries for category: Community
Meet the Community Team
CBC News Community team, from left to right: Andrew Yates, Andrea Lee-Greenberg, Lauren O'Neil, John Bowman
If you're part of the CBC News community, you're likely to meet one of us: we're the folks working to produce and promote your stories. Read more about us.
More Your Community Entries
- 2012 (1150)
- Online dater sends out awkward post-date survey
- Should Nik Wallenda use a safety device to cross Niagara Falls?
- May photo contest: Fun Veggies
- How much would you pay for your own Tyrannosaurus?
- Canada's yearbook: Send us your graduation photo
- Should the Quebec government suspend classes?
- Should a sex exhibit be pulled from Ottawa's science museum?
- Skechers ordered to pay $40M over deceptive 'Shape-ups' ads
- CBC's Derek Stoffel on staying professional and stomaching injustice
- Hungry man protests all-you-can-eat restaurant
- Should government seek clemency for Canadians on death row?
- Ugly Meter app worries cyber bullying activists
- And the winner of our April showers photo contest is...
- What would you add to Avery Canahuati's bucket list?
- Who is Titanic II backer Clive Palmer?
- Trending April 30: Titanic II, Conrad Black
- Should Conrad Black regain his Canadian citizenship?
- CBC's David McKie on investigative reporting
- Should rooftop missiles be installed for London Olympics security?
- Obama and Kimmel high-five at White House Correspondents' Dinner
- March photo contest: the winner!
- Shatner-hosted 2012 Juno Awards inspire fanfare
- 10 readers share their Katimavik stories
- Katimavik defended 26 years after Hébert hunger strike
- Earth Hour, Mega Millions, angry 'Beliebers' in morning trends
- Maple syrup hoarders prepare for shortage
- Top 5 at 5: CBC North
- Would bigger tax exemptions encourage you to shop across the border?
- What were your happiest years?
- Should charities lose their status for protesting?
- Community reaction to the Pierre Poutine revelations
- Top 5 at 5: Business stories
- Lady Gaga and Oprah Winfrey launch anti-bullying foundation
- Davy Jones honoured by fans on social media
- February photo contest: the winner!
- Women take the leap and propose marriage on Feb. 29
- Community reaction to closing of high Arctic lab
- Would you freeze-dry a deceased pet?
- U.S. storm watchers swap stories on social media
- Should Canada create an asbestos registry?
- January photo contest: the winner
- Top 5 at 5: Montreal stories
- Should Peru's uncontacted tribes be left alone?
- Is Ashton Kutcher right to block journalists from his Twitter feed?
- Would you wear Dress Pant Sweatpants in your workplace?
- Where do you donate your used clothing?
- Could a UN resolution help end Syria's unrest?
- Top 5 at 5: Politics stories
- Do you trust a camel that predicts Super Bowl winners?
- Community reaction to the Shafia trial verdict
- May (102)