Brampton - On October 27, 2009, Brampton was awarded the designation as a "Youth Friendly City" from the Government of Ontario. Youth from Brampton gathered at the Ontario Legislature at a reception hosted by the Honourable Margaret Best, Minister of Health Promotion, to receive the prestigious honour.
The City of Brampton, along with 11 other cities across Ontario were given the 5 year designation to honour the city's commitment to investing in youth and empowering them with accessible programs.
As one of the youngest MP's in Canada and a strong champion of youth Dr. Ruby Dhalla, Member of Parliament for Brampton-Springdale congratulated the youth on this historic achievement. "Congratulations to all of the youth in Brampton whose hard work, passion and commitment have helped to make Brampton a 'Youth Friendly City.' Youth are the future of our country. Their hopes, dreams, beliefs, ideas and vision are the building blocks for success in our community, our country and our world" said Dhalla.
In particular, Dhalla commended the Brampton Springdale Youth Advisory Council (BSYAC) for its leadership in the Brampton community. Initiated by Dhalla in 2008, BSYAC gives youth a voice in designing and developing solutions for the challenges they face including addressing issues such as youth violence. BSYAC was given an honourable mention at the reception for their outstanding contribution in organizing socially conscious events to stop racism such as 'Culture Shock' and community forums to address youth violence which have brought the voice of youth to Peel Police, teachers, parents and community organizations.
"BSYAC has empowered youth to take action. Working with youth to develop solutions and bring forward ideas for positive change in the schools and community has been extremely rewarding" said Dhalla.
The designation of a "Youth Friendly City" was bestowed by the Government of Ontario in partnership with Play Works, an independent group of organizations committed to promoting a greater investment of youth.
To receive the honour, Brampton participated in a two year evaluation of their youth programs and services which included an overview of many of the youth groups in Brampton including the Mayor's Youth Team, Brampton Neighbourhood Resource Centre, Brampton Teen Library Council, and the Brampton-Springdale Youth Advisory Council.
"Community organizations, government, educators and families must continue to work together to ensure young people have the resources and tools they need to succeed. Bramptonians should be proud to be living in a city which inspires youth to believe in themselves, achieve their goals and succeed in their dreams," said Dhalla.