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1986: Senator ends Katimavik hunger strike

The Story


A glass of grape juice ends a 21-day fast for Liberal senator Jacques Hébert. He's been on a hunger strike in the lobby of Canada's Senate, protesting a decision by the governing Tories to end the Katimavik program for unemployed youth. A CBC Television reporter is there as Hébert celebrates the end of the strike with Walter Baker and Jean Chrétien, who are creating a non-profit private committee to keep Katimavik alive.

Medium: Television
Program: CBC Television News
Broadcast Date: March 31, 1986
Guests: Jean Chrétien, Barbara Donaldson, Jacques Hébert, Byron Hyde, John Turner
Host: Knowlton Nash
Reporter: Whit Fraser
Duration: 2:48

Did You know?


• Katimavik is a program that places young Canadians between the ages of 17 and 21 for volunteer work on community projects across Canada. Participants are housed in groups of 10 and spend 10 weeks in each of three places chosen by Katimavik. Housing, transportation and food are covered by the program, and volunteers get an allowance of $3 per day. At the end of the seven-month program, each participant gets a $1,000 bursary.

• Almost 800 people take part in Katimavik each year; as of 2003 over 22,000 have participated since the project was founded.

• The word katimavik means "meeting place" in Inuktitut.

• Jacques Hébert was a writer, editor and publisher who founded the Canada World Youth program in 1971 and Katimavik in 1977. In 1983 he was appointed to the Senate, and he retired in 1998. He died in 2007.

• Katimavik was funded by Exchanges Canada, a part of the Department of Canadian Heritage until 2012, when federal funding was completely withdrawn. As of 2014 it was partially funded by Secrétariat à la jeunesse du Québec.be


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