The civic culture in Canada has been in marked decline for decades. Respect for the great national institutions of the country – Parliament, government, the Canadian Armed Forces – is at a low point in our history. After many failed efforts to address issues such as the democratic deficit, government accountability, and the neglect of the Forces, under both Liberal and Conservative governments and in good economic times and bad, it should be clear that the problem is not political or economic, fixable with a change in government or new budget priorities. The problem is cultural.
A cultural problem requires a cultural remedy, and the place to start is with the young people of Canada. No group will have as much influence on the future; it will be their future, their nation. The most influential young people will be university and college students; they more than others will set the direction and pace of change. Hence the importance of their having leadership competency.
In Canada, university and college students do not receive leadership training as an integral part of their education. It is time this changed. Why the deficiency persists is curious, since it has long been recognized in studies by the Conference Board of Canada and by universities, and in surveys of employers and students.
The Canadian National Leadership Program is a leadership training program expressly designed for university and college students. It employs an internationally-proven methodology that allows students to pursue a degree or diploma full-time while also acquiring leadership competency through a combination of academic and military training.