Across Canada, the YMCA is committed to our vision of the Canada We Want, a Canada that promotes equity, improves people’s quality of life, and supports a strong economy.

Our national advocacy priorities aim to achieve this vision by affecting meaningful and lasting federal public policy change that support the communities we serve. Learn more below.

Our Priorities



Canada needs accessible, high-quality early learning and child care that is inclusive and affordable now more than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the importance of early learning and child care on child development and wellbeing, positive family outcomes, women’s participation in the workforce, poverty reduction, and the entire Canadian economy. However, it has also exacerbated long-standing challenges faced by licensed non-profit providers in delivering child care and families in accessing high-quality child care.

YMCA Canada’s federal advocacy calls for:

  • A well-recognized Early Childhood Educatory profession
  • Expansion of high-quality non-profit child care, and lower costs for families
  • All children have the support they need to achieve their best start
  • Evaluation for continuous improvement and accountability

Learn more about our national advocacy efforts to build a Canada-wide child care system for all:



Stable and meaningful employment fosters independence, encourages community contribution, leads to financial stability, and improves other health and wellbeing outcomes for young people. However, job losses in Canada caused by COVID-19 have disproportionately impacted youth who are more likely to hold low-wage, temporary, and less secure jobs. While all young people are impacted, youth living with disabilities, Black, Indigenous, and racialized youth, and young women continue to face inequities and barriers to meaningful employment. 

YMCA Canada’s federal advocacy focuses on:

  • Expansion of youth employment programs, and dedicated supports to address employment barriers for equity deserving and Indigenous youth
  • Investments in mental health and wrap-around supports as part of employment programs
  • Creation of full-time, meaningful employment opportunities for young people and incorporating youth recruitment and retention initiatives in national workforce strategies

Learn more about our national advocacy efforts to support youth employment:



Canada’s charities and non-profits are vital to the social fabric of communities and critical to addressing society’s economic and social challenges - many of which have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Charities like the YMCA provide services, spaces, and opportunities that are critical to the recovery and resiliency of individuals, families, and communities, including those most vulnerable. However, the pandemic has caused significant financial hardship for charities, at a time when communities need us the most.

YMCA Canada’s federal advocacy aims to:

  • Support the recovery and resiliency of the charitable and non-profit sector
  • Enhance Canada’s social infrastructure programs that support and create vital community spaces