Children First Canada is pleased to host this special high-level event aimed at catalysing impactful investments in children to reverse the damaging impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, in collaboration with the Coalition for a Better Future.
As Canada rebuilds from the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an urgent and compelling need to make big, bold investments in Canada’s most valuable natural resource: children and youth.
Canadians are proud to live in one of the most prosperous and advanced nations in the world, but when it comes to the wellbeing of our children, we have reason to be concerned. Over the past decade, Canada has fallen sharply from 10th to 30th place amongst OECD countries for the wellbeing of children, and the pandemic has made a bad situation much worse.
The kids are not alright: one-third do not enjoy a safe and healthy childhood, one-third of Canadians report experiencing abuse before the age of 15, nearly one in five kids lives in poverty, and suicide is a leading cause of death for children aged 10 to 14 in Canada. The pandemic has accelerated and amplified the top threats to children’s survival and development and resulted in widespread learning loss, including essential skills like literacy and numeracy. If we disaggregate the data by race, gender, geography, and physical ability, it’s even more disturbing.
Kids represent nearly a quarter of our population and one hundred percent of our future. They are Canada’s next generation of business leaders, teachers, doctors, activists, and politicians. And while kids have born a disproportionate burden of the pandemic, they’re not waiting for adults to come to their aid, they are the frontlines leading climate movements, organizing food drives, combatting stigma on mental health, hosting social justice marches, and urging companies to align more closely with their values.
There is overwhelming and compelling evidence that investing in children and youth can yield great economic returns that can greatly benefit all Canadians. Children must be at the heart of Canada’s pandemic recovery plan, and it will take catalytic investments of financial and human resources to ensure that all 8 million kids in Canada survive and thrive.
Building a more prosperous and inclusive society will require the leadership of all Canadians – including parents and grandparents, policy makers, the private sector, doctors, teachers and kids themselves.
Join us for this critical conversation that will unite corporate executives, high-ranking federal officials and leaders of civil society organizations to mobilize public and private sector resources to reverse the damaging impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on children and drive systemic change to make Canada the best place for kids to grow up.
Elder Claudette Commanda, Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation, QC
Fireside Chat with the Hon. Lisa Raitt, Vice-Chair of Global Investment Banking at CIBC, and Co-Chair of the Coalition for a Better Future
Kathleen Taylor, Board Chair of Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), member of the Board of Trustees for SickKids, and member of CFC’s Council of Champions
Sara Austin, Founder & CEO, Children First Canada
Mégane Jacques & Simi Sahota, Members of CFC's Youth Advisory Council & Young Canadians' Parliament
Wyatt Sharpe, Journalist 13 years old
Bobbie Racette, Founder & CEO of Virtual Gurus, one of 50 Changemakers by the Report on Business, and Startup Canada’s Indigenous Entrepreneur of the Year
Gail O'Brien; Trustee of the National Arts Centre, Co-Chair of the Council for Canadian American Relations, and Chair of CFC's Board of Directors
Ya’ara Saks, Member of Parliament for York Centre, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
Laila Goodridge, Member of Parliament for Fort McMurray—Cold Lake, Conservative Shadow Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
Sylvie Bérubé, députée d’Abitibi-Baie-James-Nunavik Eeyou et porte-parole du Bloc québécois pour le dossier Famille, Enfants et Développement Social
Leah Gazan, Member of Parliament for Winnipeg Centre, NDP Critic Women and Gender Equality; Families Children and Social Development; Deputy Critic – Housing
Moderator: Alex Munter, President & CEO, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and Ottawa Children's Treatment Centre, and a member of CFC's Council of Champions
Ashif Mawji, Managing Director of ScaleGood Fund LP and Board Chair of the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation and Edmonton Police Foundation
Teresa Marques, President and CEO, Rideau Hall Foundation
Dahabo Ahmed-Omer, Executive Director, the BlackNorth Initiative
Simi Sahota, Member of Youth Advisory Council and Young Canadians’ Parliament
Additional speakers will be announced soon!