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June 2017 Newsletter

Volume 11

In this issue

  • New research
    • Canadian Millennials Social Values Study
      The Environics Institute
    • National Youth Survey Revisited
      Elections Canada
    • Student Vote Evaluation
      Elections Canada
  • New tools
    • How to be an Everyday Political Citizen
      Samara Canada
  • General updates
    • The 150 Years Young Project
      Apathy is Boring
    • Inspire Democracy Workshop Series
      Elections Canada

General updates

The 150 Years Young Project

In recognition of Canada's 150th birthday, Apathy is Boring is partnering up with 12 City Ambassadors and community partners to document and share the stories and experiences of Canadian youth. In this three-phased project, Apathy is Boring will demonstrate how young people shape their communities and mobilize their peers by using creative installations. Pictures and accompanying stories will be collected from across the country, and will be shared using online tools, all in an effort to facilitate meaningful conversation. Check out this article published about the initiative, and an accompanying informative video.

Inspire Democracy Workshop Series: Expanding to Indigenous Audiences

On March 20, 22 and 23, 2017, Elections Canada (EC) hosted a series of civic engagement workshops in Saskatoon, Thunder Bay, and Ottawa. These workshops focused on outreach to Indigenous communities—communities that typically face increased barriers to voting. For example, research shows that Indigenous electors typically have lower registration rates and lower knowledge of voter services.

These workshops fostered personalized discussion forums where EC could engage with Indigenous civic networks to discuss their voting needs, to share research and voter engagement tools, and to support networking opportunities with Indigenous-serving organizations, influencers, and leaders.

As a result of these Inspire Democracy workshops, EC gained important information on how to customize engagement activities and communications products for Indigenous audiences. Not only did EC learn about how to better engage Indigenous electors and how to improve services for Indigenous communities, these workshops have helped EC build relationships.

As EC looks towards the 2019 federal election, the feedback from the workshop participants will be instrumental in planning to better serve Indigenous communities. EC is committed to ongoing outreach to Indigenous communities between and during elections, and in the development of local knowledge so as to better coordinate voter services and identify opportunities for increased collaboration. 

Tell us what you're doing

Have you recently conducted research on youth or Indigenous civic participation? Let us know and we'll share the results of your work or any useful information on our site.


We would love to know what you think. Send us an email.

New research

Canadian Millennials Social Values Study

The Environics Institute (2017)

This study aims to understand how Millennials take their place in society through the lens of their social values. The Environics Institute partnered with Apathy is Boring, The Counselling Foundation of Canada, RBC, and The McConnell Family Foundation to conduct this research. The study focuses on three particular areas:  1) Life goals and markers of adulthood, 2) Career aspirations and work, and 3) Political and civic engagement. You can read the full report here; alternatively, there is a summary of the report, complemented by helpful infographics and charts that can be accessed here!

National Youth Survey Revisited

Elections Canada (2016)

Elections Canada commissioned the Centre for the Study of Democratic Citizenship to further analyze the data from the 2015 National Youth Survey. The resulting five academic papers—prepared by graduate students and young academics from McGill University, Université de Montréal and Université du Québec à Montréal—are now posted on the Inspire Democracy website. Here is a snapshot of what they explored:

In The Electoral Participation of Diverse Canadian Youth in the 2015 Federal Election, Valérie-Anne Mahéo and Sara Vissers look at various subgroups—Aboriginal youth, ethnocultural youth, youth residing in rural areas, youth with disabilities, and unemployed youth—and how they differ in terms of their socio-demographic background, their social experiences, and their political participation, to try to identify the factors that help explain differences in their electoral participation.

Filip Kostelka and Colin Scott do further subgroup analysis of political and civic participation among Canadian youth and take a closer look at those youth subgroups that participate the least in Canada's political and civic life—unemployed youth and rural youth—as well as Aboriginal youth, who used to be strongly underrepresented until the 2015 federal election.

Philippe Duguay and Allison Harell look at how the people we interact with can be important influences on what we think about and how we engage in politics. Their report focuses on the social and civic sources of voting and participation, with an emphasis on factors in the family, in broader social networks and in the classroom.

In I Don't Want To or Is It Too Difficult?, Jean-François Daoust and Fernando Feitosa look at the relative impact of different motivational and access factors on youth turnout in the 2015 federal election.

Finally, in Youth participation and cynicism during the Canadian federal election of 2015, Ioana Alexandra Manoliu and Katherine V. R. Sullivan aim to shed light on both the predictors and the consequences of political cynicism among youth.

Student Vote Evaluation

Elections Canada (2016)

An evaluation of the Student Vote Program in the context of the 42nd federal election can now be found on the Elections Canada website.

This evaluation analyzes feedback and survey results from participating students, teachers and parents to assess the success of Student Vote in meeting Elections Canada's objectives for a student parallel election program. The evaluation found that, overall, the Student Vote program had a positive impact on students and teachers. Key findings show that Student Vote increased students' knowledge of and interest in politics, and their likelihood of discussing politics with friends and family more comfortably, factors that research has shown are important predictors of voting. The evaluation also found that the program has cumulative benefits, and both students and teachers reported high levels of satisfaction with their experience. Read the report to learn more.

In all, 922,000 students from Canada's 338 electoral districts participated in the program, making it the largest Student Vote to date. Elections Canada contracted CIVIX—a non-partisan charity focused on building the skills and habits of citizenship among young Canadians—to conduct the parallel election.

New tools

How to be an Everyday Political Citizen

Samara Canada (2017)

Samara Canada has created a short informational video about how you can effectively tackle issues that are important to you in your own community! This video is in English only, but French and English subtitles are available.

In addition, Samara has put together an accompanying Educator's Guide, which explains how to initiate discussions about making your voice heard and pushing for political change. This guide can be used by teachers in a school setting, or by educators in a community organization. The guide and video are appropriate for ages 10 and up.

How to be an Everyday Political Citizen

Screenshot taken from Samara's Everyday Political Citizen informative video.