In May 2019, the new Youth Advisory Group (YAG) formed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) had its first meeting in Ottawa and MOSAIC staff member Haleema Azizi was one of only 18 young people from across Canada invited to participate. Haleema is a former MOSAIC client, and was selected in 2018 as a participant for YAG after a national call out for candidates.
YAG created a forum for engagement between youth and policy-makers, which included The Honourable Ahmad Hussen, Minister of IRCC, as well as other senior officials, on cross-cutting issues with respect to immigration, settlement and integration, citizenship, refugee affairs, and international issues.
Haleema shared that Minister Hussen asked the YAG members about their goals regarding participation in YAG, and he was very surprised by the answers he received. He expressed that he is very hopeful for the future of YAG and the results that will come out of the sessions, and he believes that the engagement of youth with our government and IRCC will bring a positive impact on our immigration system.
As part of the forum activities, YAG members attended a Canadian citizenship ceremony and enjoyed a discussion with citizenship judge Rania Sfeir.
There will be three virtual YAG meetings this year and another in-person meeting next summer to deliver the results of YAG research on key issues.