The Katimavik youth program, which provides thousands of hours of volunteer service in vulnerable communities and gives young Canadians work experience, is being cut because it was created by a Liberal government, Liberal MP Justin Trudeau says.

The elimination of the program, created in 1977 under the government of Trudeau’s father, Pierre Trudeau, was announced in Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s March 29 budget. The program sends 1,100 young people to volunteer with local partner agencies in communities across the country.

The budget said the government would instead continue to “fund 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.”

But Trudeau took aim at that argument Thursday, comparing Katimavik’s $14-million annual funding to the $207-million Canadian Cadets program under the Department of Defence, which he called a “wonderful” program that had not been cut. Katimavik’s cost of $2,000 per month per participant compares favourably with the cadets program’s monthly cost of $4,000 per participant, he said.

Trudeau said the government’s own review of the Katimavik program described it as valuable and a fit with the government’s priorities.

“So why is this government cutting the program? It has the unfortunate … and fatal flaw of having been created under a Liberal prime minister by someone who became a Liberal senator. That’s the problem with Katimavik,” Trudeau said.
Justin Trudeau stands up against Katimavik closure


The fate of Katimavik says something about the state of our country