National youth program cut

The national youth program Katimavik has been cut in the latest federal budget,

The national youth program Katimavik has been cut in the latest federal budget, a program which saw these youth volunteering in our community.

Katimavik volunteers helped paint the Nechako Valley Community Services building in Fort St. James last year. Other Katimavik volunteers spent the weekend enjoying and helping out at Music on the Mountain.

The loss of the program will also impact plans for local youth through the new youth programs being worked on locally by the Youth Program Coordinator, Jana Gainor.

She was hoping to get some of the local youth involved in the area Katimavik projects.

The program has been in place for 35 years and its loss prompted a reaction from Skeena-Bulkley MP Nathan Cullen, who has worked with the program.

“It’s an outstanding program that brings young Canadians together to forge life-long friendships, give back to their community, and increase cultural understanding and care for the environment,” said Cullen.

“We are not going to let this go. The program costs $14 million dollars. One F-35 fighter jet engine costs $26 million.”

Cullen emphasized the importance of the program in the northwest, and the entire country, with over 1,200 participating youth per year in 94 communities across the country.

“This program brings people together to learn from each other and work together to build a better country,” said Cullen

The program was also cut by the Mulroney government in the 1980s, but was revived in the 1990s.