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MP’s REPORT: Investing in Youth and Our Community

August 9, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Leona Alleslev, MP
Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill

This past month, my team and I have been busy meeting with constituents and visiting organizations in our community. I often get asked: What is the Federal government doing in our community? How are our tax dollars directly making a difference here? One great example is the Canada Summer Jobs program.
Our government is funding more summer jobs than ever before, and youth in our community are learning valuable skills in different areas like STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), the environment, and helping the community to grow stronger together.

The Canada Summer Jobs program (CSJ) provides funding to help employers create summer job opportunities for students. It is designed to focus on local priorities, while helping both students and their communities. Our government invested $600,000 in Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill through CSJ. This created 222 summer jobs for students right here in our community!
Over the past couple of weeks I visited some of the students who are employed at organizations that received the CSJ funding. I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you how some of your tax dollars are being put to work (literally) with the Canada Summer Jobs Program.
It was great to see that some of the summer students were working at STEM related organizations. I visited Mathnasium in Richmond Hill where their summer student is working to help other students by assisting in creating customized plans to help develop math skills. It was also exciting to visit Game Pill Interactive and speak with their marketing summer student working with game developers and animators on the Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (VR/AR) games they’re bringing to the gaming market.
Other students are working to help our environment. I met with John who is studying for his Master’s degree and this summer he is working at the Windfall Ecology Centre providing energy saving tips and sustainability programs to assist companies in York Region to be more eco-friendly. If you get a chance, you should visit the beautiful Lake St. George Field Centre in our community. I met with their summer student Bill who is helping deliver programming that connects kids and the community to nature so that everyone is able to appreciate our environment just a little bit more.
Many of the CSJ students in Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill are working to better serve our community. The York Region Food Network has three students this summer who are helping organize programs, raise awareness and promote policy changes for increased access to affordable and nutritious food produced within a sustainable food system. I also visited the Community Living York South where I spoke with their summer students who are working to empower people with intellectual disabilities to live, learn, work and participate in their community. At Big Brothers Big Sisters of York (BBBSY), there are two students who are helping with social media and event planning to create more awareness about the great work that BBBSY does in our community to help families in need.
Although these students are working in different fields and studying different programs at university and college, they are all gaining valuable skills from their summer jobs. I am proud that our government invested $600,000 to create 222 jobs in our community, and I am pleased to see that our youth are benefitting from it.

I am also encouraging youth to be more involved in shaping the future and direction of our country through membership in our Constituency Youth Council. I created the Aurora- Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill Youth Council (which began last year) to bring youth together from across our community to engage in the federal political process. These young Canadians provide me, their Member of Parliament, with broad advice beyond political party lines on national policies and programs that are important to them. Listening to the issues that matter most to our next generation is an important promise of this government, and one to which I have personally committed. The Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill Youth Council is open for application until September 30th and will include youth from different schools, neighborhoods and local associations. I encourage you to reach out to youth that you know, and get them to apply by visiting:

Finally, it wouldn’t be the end of summer without an Annual Community BBQ! I invite you and your family and friends to join me on Saturday, September 9, 2017 from 12:00 PM – 2:30 PM at 1300 Elgin Mills Rd E., Richmond Hill ,ON L4S 1M5 for an afternoon filled with fun, free food, and activities for the kids. It’s sure to be a terrific day!

I look forward to seeing you out in the community during the month of August, and I wish you an enjoyable remainder of the summer!

If you have any questions or concerns regarding federal matters, please feel free to reach out to me and my office. You can email:, phone (905) 773-8358, or drop by for a visit at 12820 Yonge St., suite 202 in Richmond Hill.



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