Canada's Original Think Tank

Open Caucus

In the spring of 2014, the Senate Liberals began our Open Caucus initiative. The goal of these meetings is to foster nonpartisan discussion on issues facing our country. We invite all parliamentarians as well as the public to take part in the discussion with a panel of experts on any given topic, and focus informing ourselves and others on matters that are important to Canadians.


Open Caucus Themes

  • March 28, 2018 – Youth Involvement in the Community

    The Open Caucus, a forum for discussion on issues of national importance, was first established in 2014 when Senate Liberals opened their Caucus doors to the public on Wednesday mornings. The Open Caucus is now co-sponsored by the Independent Senate Liberals, the Independent Senators Group, and the Office of the Government Representative in the Senate. This non-partisan collaboration brings together two groups representing the majority of the Senate’s current membership.

    This non-partisan discussion is open to all Members of Parliament, Senators, parliamentary staff, media, and the public.

    Canada Service Corps – the new federal initiative that will invest $105 million in national volunteer organizations – has the goal of encouraging young Canadians to get involved in their communities. According to the 2013 General Social Survey Giving, Volunteering and Participating, 66% of students aged 15-19 volunteered, compared to 48% of young adults aged 20 to 24. This trend continues to decline, with the national average being 44%. Statistics Canada suggests that this trend may be influenced by community service being a prerequisite for high school graduation in some school districts.

    If youth can be effectively engaged beyond their high school years, they may play an important role in strengthening the voluntary sector. Canada Service Corps will use the next 18 months to gather feedback from select organizations on where – and how – youth want to participate.  Drawing on the expertise of partnered organizations, we ask: what measures can be taken to help identify what motivates youth to choose to be involved, and how can we keep them involved well into adulthood? What are the implications of youth civic engagement?

    Panelists were:

    • Marlene Deboisbriand: VP, Programming & Member Services at Boys and Girls Club Canada.
    • Andy Garrow: Director of Youth Development at Katimavik (Inuktitut: “meeting place”).
    • Colin Jackson: Chair of imagiNation150, Calgary based non-profit organization that works to foster a deeply engaged citizenry in Canada.
    • Lily Viggiano: Youth Engagement Specialist with Volunteer Canada’s Pan-Canadian Volunteer Matching Platform.

    The meeting took place:

    Wednesday, March 28, 2018
    9:15 am – 11:15 am
    Room 160-S, Centre Block

    Floor feed

    English feed

    French feed


    Read more
    Forum des sénateurs libéraux