1. Support families: 

  • Implement a Guaranteed Annual Income (GAI) or negative tax scheme as a private and equitable way to ensure that each household has the means to afford the necessities of life
  • Make youth who are functioning as adults in the community (i.e. ‘independent’) eligible for GAI as a household of one
  • Recognize the cost and value of extended and surrogate family contributions through income tax policy
  • Recognize the cost and value of essential non-waged work through income tax policy

2. Create safe, affordable housing, with supports, for youth

  • Create safe, affordable housing for all youth
  • Support tenancy with personalized support that protects youth from being exploited, and helps them use housing as a platform for ‘getting their act together’, whatever that means to them  
  • Make policies and practices of urban service providers relevant to the cultural adjustment required of rural youth
    • this includes educational as well as social agencies
    • re-examine the rationale for not asking Canadian youth where they are from

3. Make public the cost of private transportation 

  • Grant an income tax deduction equal to the cost of owning, maintaining and operating at least one vehicle to every household in a place with no public transportation 
  • Support the development of sustainable public transportation systems in rural areas, designed to fit the specific circumstances 

4. Recreate public spaces 

  • Grant every rural community the resources from senior levels of government sufficient to create and operate a multi-purpose facility that offers a variety of activities accessible to all members of the community, regardless of age, finances, interests and abilities  
  • Return extra-curricular activities from the educational system to the community 
  • Develop and deliver non-academic educational curriculum in collaboration with the community
  • Redirect school resources to frequent mandatory field trips that allow students to interact with the larger world, are universally available, have no cost to the student or accompanying community members, and cover a broad spectrum of activities.  

5. Educate for citizenship

  • Give each person the education they need to be the citizen the community needs
  • Make post-secondary certification free and based on merit
  • Teach the skills needed to perform essential non-waged roles (e.g. parenting, community building) well

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AuthorFay Martin