Montreal North has the youngest population in Montreal: 30% are under 25 years old and the proportion of children is higher than in the city as a whole. Yet, young North Montrealers are largely left behind. This was particularly the case during the health crisis.
"The Montreal North youth is the greatest asset of the neighbourhood. It is through their growth and development that Montreal North will flourish. But to accomplish this, we must invest in them, starting now," said Will Prosper, candidate for mayor of Montreal North for Projet Montréal.
To overcome this neglected area, Will Prosper and his team of Projet Montréal propose seven major initiatives for the youth of North Montreal:
- Create a sports centre: Due to the lack of available sports infrastructure, the youth of the neighbourhood and the athletes have to train outside of Montreal-North. For over a decade, North Montrealers have been asking for a sports centre. Will Prosper and his administration will make the creation of this centre a priority of their mandate.
- Support the work of street outreach workers: There is a serious lack of community workers on the streets and the resources to support them. Their work with youth is essential. Will Prosper and Projet Montréal will increase the number of street outreach workers.
- Supporting children and their families: Since support for children must start at a very early age, Will Prosper and Projet Montréal will work with elementary schools to ensure that children have access to outreach workers. They will also make art and culture accessible, improve extracurricular activities, improve food aid programs, offer a ninth week of day camp and beautify schoolyards.
- Promote youth employment and innovation by providing access to stable, well-paid and rewarding jobs. This will be done through paid internship opportunities and training for at-risk youth in high demand occupations, while stimulating social entrepreneurship.
- Implement a participatory youth budget: allocate an amount of the borough's budget to projects identified during a participatory process with young people, in collaboration with the Conseil jeunesse de Montréal-Nord.
- Reduce the digital divide that has existed for years in Montréal-Nord by facilitating access to and use of information and communication technologies, and by extending the free wifi network to more public spaces.
- Attracting external donors to provide half a million dollars a year in funding to organizations working with youth.