Save the Ontario Ranger Program – Help Us Help Youth Rally
Queen’s Park, Toronto, Ontario – January 4, 2013 @ 1:30 p.m.
Today marks the beginning of the new year and for many people in Ontario and around the world this means a fresh start or making resolutions for 2013. For the youth of Ontario, the coming of 2013 means the end of a 68-year-old legacy. Normally, January 1st is the deadline for applications to be submitted to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources’ Ontario Ranger Program. This year the 17-year-old youth of Ontario will miss a chance to apply to experience this historical program because the Ontario government has decided that it is not worth it.
Started in 1944, the Ontario Ranger Program has been providing youth with a work and education experience like no other. With 13 work camps spread across the province, thousands of youth have had the opportunity to live and work with their peers, learn about sustainable resource management, gain important life lessons and employable skills, and truly have a summer that they will never forget. With the Ontario government’s decision to close the Ontario Ranger camps, this important youth opportunity will be no more. This means the loss of hundreds of jobs for youth and an economic loss for the small communities close to where the camps were based. Most importantly, this means the loss of thousands of hours of work done for community groups and organizations that do not have the people power to complete them, which could mean a loss of services to the communities nearby.
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