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Policy Matters: Rachel Gouin

Later this year, Canadians will vote in the 43rd federal election. Many non-profit organizations, networks, and coalitions see elections as a critical opportunity to raise relevant public policy issues. Recently, the rules for charities engaging in public policy have become a prominent source of debate and discussion in government and the sector. As we countdown to the next election, The Philanthropist will be asking non-profit leaders what public policy issues are top of mind for them.

Name and organization: Rachel Gouin, Child Welfare League of Canada

What current election issues might impact your work? 

The Child Welfare League of Canada aspires for all children to thrive, to know that they are loved and that they belong. We want more children to grow up with family and kin and be connected to their community, culture, and language. In this coming federal election, we want to see parties address the factors that are making families and children vulnerable: inequalities in housing, poverty, lack of supports for mental health and substance misuse, domestic violence, and the underfunding of Indigenous child and family services.

What issues would you like to bring more attention to in the election? 

Youth are now the biggest cohort of voters. We’re excited to see how parties listen to young voters and what policies they’ll propose to meet their needs. But let’s remember that well-being in young adults begins with a great start in life. In this election, we want to bring attention to the needs of children and families, especially those who are facing the greatest challenges. Only by addressing the underlying causes of precarity and trauma will we reduce the number of children in care and the number of young people caught up in the justice system.

Where can we learn more about these issues?

Child Welfare League of Canada

First Nations Child and Family Caring Society

A Way Home Canada

Campaign 2000

Rachel Gouin is Executive Director of Child Welfare League of Canada.