The Intercultural Youth Parliament

The objective behind the creation of the Intercultural Youth Parliament was to provide both Anglophone and Francophone youth from Quebec and Ontario, with the opportunity to debate on prevalent issues that not only affect their own lives but the Canadian public at large. The project’s participants were drawn from a wide range of different cultural and religious backgrounds to ensure that different points of view and experiences would be shared. The main topics the Parliament sought to address were the themes of citizenship, democracy, immigration, social tolerance, nationalism, multiculturalism and the integration of young adults into the workforce. The group also focused on the problems with public education and community development.

The aim of the project was to foster feelings of acceptance and solidarity among the committee’s members, despite their varying cultural backgrounds and differences of opinion. It was also hoped that the Parliament’s meetings would provide hope for a better future for Canada’s youth by establishing links between its diverse groups and facilitating collective mobilization against hate crimes based on differences of race, religion, culture and economic standing.

The Parliament convened on two separate occasions, in Montreal and in Ottawa, to discuss and elaborate on the aforementioned themes. The Parliament’s participants also met with Canadian Parliamentarians, who expressed their own views on these issues. At the end of the two meetings the committee drew up a summary document which clearly stated the rights of Canadian youths and expressed the need to promote a more democratic, pluralistic and integrative society. It also discussed steps that could be taken to improve the difficulties that the Canadian youth often encounters in trying to become integrated into the workforce.

A number of conferences and workshops were also held in Montreal, Quebec, Toronto and Ottawa, which provided youths with other opportunities to elaborate on these issues and share their opinions and to

While only 250 youths were directly involved in the endeavor, over 2,000 Canadian youths were affected by the project and its goals.