FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 12, 2019
Ottawa MPs Catherine McKenna, Mona Fortier join Zac Wagman at Strathcona Park to inspire young Canadians to pursue careers in forestry, conservation
OTTAWA, August 12, 2019— PLT Canada Green Jobs manager Zac Wagman’s cross-country bike tour to inspire young Canadians to pursue careers in forestry and conservation arrived in Ottawa today to celebrate International Youth Day.
Joined by Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna and Ottawa-Vanier MP Mona Fortier, Wagman cycled to Strathcona Park to discuss with youth the possibilities that exist to start their green careers.
PLT Canada’s Green Jobs aims to place more than 2,000 young Canadians in the forest and conservation sectors by 2020, with a strong focus on Indigenous, newcomer, and rural youth. “We believe that every youth should have a chance to explore work experiences in the outdoors – and want to support them as they explore their pathway to their green career,” said Kathy Abusow, CEO and President of Project Learning Tree Canada. “Because of our strong networks and partnerships, we are accomplishing our goals and look forward to working with government to address barriers to employment, education and skills training for any youth who may face them.”
Last month, the federal government pledged $4.4 million to help place an additional 500 youth in green jobs and create career support services that inspire and connect youth passionate about working in the outdoors.
“The passion of young people for the environment gives me so much hope. They have never known a world without climate change and are marching in the streets, demanding climate action. I also am inspired by the green choices so many are making in their careers, choosing jobs that help protect a healthy planet,” said Minister McKenna. “We’re supporting green jobs because we know they’re the jobs of the future. This program is not only supporting a healthier environment but also a stronger economy.”
“Project Learning Tree is helping thousands of youth in our community find meaningful employment, gain the skills, and work experience needed to thrive in the workplaces of tomorrow. I am proud of the Government of Canada’s support of this incredible initiative, giving youth the opportunity to pursue their goal of a cleaner, greener Canada for generations to come,” said Fortier.
Wagman is on a coast-to-coast mission to meet as many young people as he can to spread the word about the unique green job opportunities available. Starting in Victoria in May, Wagman has travelled over 5,000 kilometres on a Canada-made Picolo Vélo wooden bicycle, showcasing the strength, beauty, innovation and environmental benefits of Canadian wood products.
Launched in 2018 with support from Employment and Social Development Canada’s Youth Employment Strategy, the Green Jobs Initiative is administered by PLT Canada. Working closely with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and the Canadian Parks Council Networks, it aims to instill a passion for the outdoors and provide youth with the knowledge, skills and experience that will help them pursue careers in the forest and conservation sectors.
Ottawa was Wagman’s final stop in Ontario before he sets off for Quebec on August 13. He expects to wrap up his epic ride on September 24 in St. John’s, Nfld.
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SFI®Inc. is a sustainability leader that stands for future forests. We are an independent, non-profit organization that provides supply chain assurances, delivers conservation leadership, and supports environmental education and community engagement. SFI works with the forest sector, brand owners, conservation groups, resource professionals, landowners, educators, local communities, Indigenous peoples, governments, and universities. SFI standards and on-product labels help consumers make responsible purchasing decisions. Additionally, we oversee the SFI Forest Partners®Program, which aims to increase supply of certified forest products, the SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program, which funds research and community building, and Project Learning Tree®, which educates teachers and youth about forests and the environment. SFI Inc. is governed by an independent three chamber board of directors representing environmental, social, and economic sectors equally. SFI believes caring for forests improves everyone’s quality of life. Learn more.
Vice-President, Community Engagement, PLT Canada