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Fernand Robichaud

The Hon. Fernand Robichaud, P.C. Appointed to the Senate by the Rt. Honourable Jean Chrétien, Senator Fernand Robichaud represents the province of New Brunswick and the Senatorial Division of Saint-Louis-de-Kent. He has served in the Senate of Canada since September 23, 1997.

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Funding for Katimavik

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Statement made on 05 April 2012 by Senator Jim Munson

Hon. Jim Munson:

In probably one of the leader's favourite papers, the Ottawa Citizen, there was a column today by Elizabeth Payne. She made an interesting point. She said that Katimavik should be a Tory favourite, owing to the fact that it is aligned with Conservative values of volunteerism and youth engagement. She suggested that the government might want to consider rebranding Katimavik. Its current name means "meeting place" in Inuktitut, and it is fitting, given Canada's proud Aboriginal heritage. However, perhaps — a more Conservative-friendly name could save the program. What about "the Governor General's youth corps" or "the royal Canadian volunteer corps"?

I just know these things. The leader's answer moments ago — talk about taking it to another level — "this is about Trudeau time" and so on and forth.

It is hard to imagine, as Ms. Payne said, a federal politician who would not like the idea. You could call it "Torytic," or whatever you want to call it. It is difficult to argue with the benefit of this program.

Would you stop chirping, senator? I am trying to ask a question. You chirp all the time.

Each dollar invested in the program produces roughly $2.20 return for the communities Katimavik serves. How can one argue with that?

We have hundreds of emails from parents. Those who signed up for the program this year, who are still in the program and who are ready to go this summer, cannot go. They completed the selection process for the upcoming sessions and now they are left out in the cold.

One mother said the following:

My son was accepted to the July run of the Katimavik program. He was excited about his future, excited about seeing a different part of Canada, and excited about helping others, because he was accepted in the program. He did not apply to university or college this year. Now what does he do?

This was his dream, and our government has crushed it. Madam leader, it is not our government, and certainly not my government, that has crushed this young man's dream. As his mother asked, I now ask the leader: What does he do?

Please click here to read the full text of the Senator's question

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