The FIQ’s Youth Network, held on November 22 and 23, was a motivating sight with almost one hundred youth, ages 35 and under, gathered to talk about union and social issues. The Federation’s young healthcare professional members discussed various ways of getting involved in society, inspired by the Network’s theme: “Democracy is slipping away: Millennials fight back.” Unionism is an excellent way to achieve change but there are others. Due to my busy schedule, I wasn’t able to attend the whole Network, but the few hours that I spent there gave me renewed hope for the future. It’s always a great pleasure to be able to speak with these youth and hear their intelligent, inspiring ideas.
Among the many captivating activities on the agenda was a panel featuring four youth who went into active politics. Regardless of their chosen political party, Catherine Fournier (PQ), Samuel Poulin (CAQ), Marwah Rizqy (PLQ) and Vanessa Roy (QS) are positive role models for millennials—they are young men and women who are aware of the immense power they possess to change things. They are politicians who want to influence decisions so that they align better with their values. Young healthcare professionals who fight for change at the Federation are no exception. They want to play an active role and mobilize to improve life for themselves and their patients.
Speaking of inspiring youth mobilization, the recent student protests really caught my attention. The Federation’s Youth Network took place during the same week as a major demonstration organized by CEGEP and university students to protest unpaid internships in all areas of study. It’s inspiring to see all of these young people take to the streets to challenge methods that clash with their values. Youth are not afraid to stand up for what they believe in and, let’s be honest, their arguments are logical and eloquent.
As a feminist labour organization, the Federation supports the students’ mobilization in an effort to gain paid internships for the various health institutions. The government needs to promptly analyze the various forms this legitimate claim could take, one that embodies principles of gender equality and equity. The proportion of paid internships in private companies versus those in public services is completely unjust and should be rectified. If it’s a fair fight, then there will be many implications and it will need to be addressed immediately. Many students have come forward to fight for this issue and it needs to be taken seriously so that the rules are clear and fair for everyone!