By Matty Hume, June 22 2018 —
Students’ Union president Sagar Grewal has been selected as one of 10 new members of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Youth Council.
The Prime Minister’s Youth Council consists of 21 Canadians between the ages of 16 and 24. According to the Canadian government’s website, the council is designed for youth to supply non-partisan advice to both the prime minister and the Government of Canada regarding significant issues.
“A non-partisan advisory council, I would say, is the best way to describe it,” Grewal said. “We give our opinions and our perspectives on various issues. [The] reason being is our council believes that all issues are youth issues. They don’t affect us right now, but maybe they will in a few years. Therefore, it’s important for youth to be consulted at every stage.”
Grewal applied for the Youth Council this past fall. Following a video interview, Grewal said he was hand-selected by Trudeau to become a new member. Members on the Youth Council serve a maximum term of two years, with the council divided into three cohorts with staggering start dates.
“The idea with the staggered membership is to ensure that there are still some councillors who are there so it’s not just a fresh group starting all over again,” Grewal said. “With the staggered cohorts, hopefully there’s some continuity on making progress with our objectives.”
Grewal is part of “Cohort Three,” which will join “Cohort Two” and replace “Cohort One.”
In addition to meeting with the prime minister, the Youth Council meets with members of other political parties, such as the National Democratic Party Youth Critic, according to Grewal.
Regarding his Students’ Union presidency, Grewal said his Youth Council membership will be a benefit to his campus role.
“The Youth Council meets up to four times per year in person, the rest is all done over teleconference and virtually,” Grewal said. “My hope is that this will actually help me with my work as SU president. We see that council members from across the country do care about things such as mental health, affordability and education and employment opportunities. Therefore, I definitely think there’s a bridge between post-secondary issues and youth issues.”
For more information on the Prime Minister’s Youth Council, visit their page on the Government of Canada’s website.