The Harper government hates young people. You know how I know? Among the ridiculous cuts revealed in today's fully egregious budget was a short statement: "The Government will eliminate the Katimavik program."
For those of you not in the know, Katimavik—the Inuktitut word for "meeting place”—is a volunteer service organization aimed at 17- to 21-year-olds. For the last 35 years, Katimavik has offered volunteer opportunities to young Canadians, allowing them to see the country, meet new people, learn how to live within a group, give back to communities, and generally be decent human beings.
Ask pretty much anyone who's been a participant and you will hear nothing but good things about the program.
(I was never in Katimavik so if you were, please leave a comment below and assure me that it was indeed as awesome as I was led to believe.)
But our government—the one that is "committed to giving our young people the opportunities they deserve"—no longer finds Katimavik valuable. The government's big problem with it? It has an "excessive per-person cost". Alright, Katimavik does cost money: about $28 million since September 2009. But apparently a program that's had 30,000 participants—one that fosters independence, community service, civic engagement, and leadership skills isn't worth anything to the Harper government as its axing the entire thing, no questions asked.
Keep in mind this is an program that generates $2.20 for every dollar it spends in its host communities and its participants logged 572,392 hours of volunteer time in 2011.
What does the government plan on supporting instead?
To sum up, supporting highly political programs aimed at
indoctrinating children: yay! Supporting a program that helps create more empathetic, independent, service-oriented Canadians? Not a chance.
Follow the outraged Miranda Nelson on Twitter.