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PRE-BUDGET SUBMISSION

EMPOWER YOUTH

That the government build on its commitment to youth by investing $7M/year for five
years in the following wage subsidy employment programs:

  1. A new National Safe Swimming Recovery Program to address the crisis-level
    shortage of lifeguards and swim instructors across Canada ($3M/year).

This shortage is endangering lives, affecting quality of life, and lowering levels of
physical activity. Fewer aquatics professionals mean less access to vital learn-to swim programs, unsupervised beaches, and reduced operating hours for pools. Safe access to water will be critical as our climate warms.

Data from the Lifesaving Society is compelling: on average, 500 people drown
annually in Canada. In 70% of those deaths, the victim never intended to go into the water and did not have basic swim-to-survive skills. Fewer than 1% of drownings occur in lifeguard supervised settings. Simply put, more lifeguards and swim instructors mean fewer tragedies.

The labour shortage we are witnessing in aquatics exists in other areas in recreation and parks. We recommend enhancing and extending:

2. CPRA’s existing Green Jobs Initiative ($2M/year); and
3. CPRA’s Youth Employment Experience Program ($2M/year).

How can CPRA help?

CPRA has a mechanism to administer national wage subsidy programs that reach every corner of the country. Green Jobs and Youth Employment Experience have measurably helped the government achieve its youth employment goals. Since 2018, we have placed 2,850 young people (and counting) in these programs, providing them with valuable work experience and transferable skills that help them — and our economy — succeed.