am writing this letter today to express my heartfelt feelings concerning
the troubling facts of being a youth in Northern Ontario.
These problems range from high tuition cost for post secondary
education, soaring car insurance premiums, lack of substantial employment
in the north for the college and university graduates and last but not
least the feeling that no one is focusing a large portion of their
political agendas on these issues. In
addition, the youth movement in Canada should have a voice and have the
opportunity to be more involved in the decisions that will eventually
concern us more.
I would like to focus my attention on
the lack of employment opportunities in the north, based on my personal
experiences, although all issues should be taken into consideration.
I believe, with significant employment, the repayment of tuition
and car insurance fees will be less troublesome.
I am an added northern casualty to the
ongoing and now troubling urban brain drain. After living all my 25 years in the City of Greater Sudbury
area, including 3 years of post secondary education to reside close to
home, I am forced to relocate away from family and friends to the Greater
Toronto Area for employment reasons.
I graduated from a local institution with 2 diplomas in a field
that is in high demand worldwide. This
trend seems to be contradictory in Northern Ontario.
My decision to leave Sudbury took 3 years.
In those 3 years, I struggled to keep my head above the water with
several part time jobs including call centre and sales commission jobs.
My previous employment helped me gain knowledge of numerous skills
but coming out of college with dreams and ending up jumping from job to
job to make ends meet was nothing short of a nightmare.
I turned my attention to services throughout the city such as
employment guidance, career planning, apprenticeship programs and even
entrepreneurial services but came home at the end of the day with no
positive direction in my career path.
The countless individuals that Iíve met along the way have been
nothing short of encouraging and very dedicated but all faced the same
ongoing problem of youth unemployment with lack of government funding.
After snowballing misfortunes, it seemed like all my sources and
connections were significantly depleted which brings me to the ultimate
reason for my move to Southern Ontario.
In saying that, if the opportunity to stay presented itself, I
would reconsider my move and so would many of my friends that had to
relocate for employment. For
the moment, the structure in place is no longer working and needs to be
looked at for the viability and growth of the north.
Northern Ontario needs to find
innovative ways to create suitable employment and entrepreneurial
opportunities through government funding.
While competition is always encouraged, the individual political
leaders from all northern communities need to work in unison to get the
communication lines open between all levels of government.
The problems the North faces are overshadowed by the more populated
South. Southern Ontario is a hotbed for innovators, entrepreneurs, and
even dreamers. The truth is,
and from personal experience, many of these young leaders called the North
home during there upbringing. Countless
international students are drawn to the attractiveness of the Sudbury
lifestyle has a place to further their education.
The political leaders need to focus on ways of keeping these of
young professionals in the North once they have completed their education.
The much needed career like
jobs will allow these international students to remain in Sudbury after
learning the lifestyle for the last 2-3 years.
The retention of these young professionals is vital to the economic
growth of the North. These migrating youth are the citizens who will carry the
North and its ongoing issues into the decades to follow.
In conclusion, youth out migration is an
unending issue shared by many communities across the country.
To my knowledge, the elected northern politicians have a duty to
serve all constituents within their respective ridings and therefore need
to stop studying the problem and start working toward a viable resolution.
They need to be leaders in the fight against the urban brain drain.
Let your voices heard and stop all future Northern casualties.