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MP Ellis consults youth centres for federal pre-budget input

youth-consultations-mp-ellisNeil Ellis, Member of Parliament for Bay of Quinte, hosted Bay of Quinte youth centres for a pre-budget consultation to gather input on how the 2017 Federal budget can benefit youth and address the needs of “at-risk” youth.

Common themes included the need for sustainable and reliable base funding for operations, programs for rural at-risk youth and greater flexibility in general for program eligibility requirements.

The consensus is that for a relatively small investment a significant amount of staff time and resources could be redirected from fundraising and grant writing to providing direct services for youth and further developing community partnerships.

“I commend the fine work of our local youth centres and thank them for taking time to meet with me,” said Ellis. “What I learned is that the lack of stable and reliable funding presents an acute challenge for our local youth centres and has direct implications on the well-being of youth in our community. As MP for Bay of Quinte I am well aware of the difference that youth centres and early positive reinforcement have, particularly for at-risk youth.”

“Over the summer the youth centres in Bay of Quinte held a joint meeting to discuss ways to work together and support one another and have already found new ways to collaborate,” said Darlene Thompson, executive director for the Recreation Outreach Centre in the County. “One key outcome was learning that we share common challenges and knowing this has provided us the opportunity to act together. Today’s meeting with MP Ellis was a great step in having our concerns heard and identifying ways to address our shared challenges.”

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