Action Canada Fellowship

YEF participants on Stephen Ave in CalgaryJoin Canada’s premier policy leadership program!

Action Canada and Public Policy Forum have joined forces to present the Action Canada Fellowship, a 10-month national leadership development and policy engagement program. This program brings together emerging leaders from across the country. Together, fellows learn about and experience different parts of Canada, our history, and ultimately, work together to make good policy for a better Canada.


Apply now!

The 2018-2019 Call for applications is now open! Applications are due by 5 p.m. PST on Friday, March 30, 2018. To apply for this program please complete the following application. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Do you have questions about the program? Check out our FAQ.

The candidate’s statement should respond to the following question:

In policy-making, science and evidence can clash with values and perspectives. What should take precedence and why?

Tackling themes with impact

The Action Canada Fellowship adopts a different theme for each cohort. The theme becomes the subject matter focus for the year, and the topic which Task Force reports will examine. For example, in 2016-17 the cohort examined the transition to a low carbon future. Task Forces looked at elements of that transition: clean, independent energy sources for rural and remote communities; changes to the Canadian labour market; and electrification of transportation. 

PPF and Action Canada are considering the following themes for the forthcoming cohorts: housing, food, skills and automation, digital democracy, the role of youth in public policy, Canada-Indigenous relations and Canada-China relations.


A rich alumni network

Action Canada has a demonstrated track record of providing bright young Canadians with the skills they need to make a difference. Past fellows include: 

  • Vasiliki Bednar, 2012, Chair of the Government of Canada’s Expert Panel on Youth Employment and Assistant Director, Senior Policy Associate, AirBnB
  • Terry Beech, 2010, MP for Burnaby North-Seymour and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
  • Matt DeCourcey, 2012, MP for Fredericton and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • Ginger Gosnell-Meyers, 2004, Aboriginal Relations Manager, City of Vancouver
  • Craig Kielburger, 2005, Co-founder, Free The Children and Me to We
  • Alika Lafontaine, 2013, Past President, Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada and winner of Canada’s Next Great Prime Minister in 2008
  • Tom Rand, 2007, Managing Partner, ArcTern Ventures and Senior Advisor, MaRS
  • George Roter, 2004, Co-founder, Engineers Without Borders


Our roots

Since 2003, Action Canada has successfully organized a national Fellowship program that emphasizes leadership development and civic engagement while nurturing the next generation of Canada’s leaders. Action Canada brings together diverse Canadians from across the country to engage in timely, topical and strategic policy issues affecting our country.

Through the Action Canada program, each year approximately 20 Fellows enhanced their leadership skills, forged lifelong connections with people and communities across the country and amplified their learning by fostering greater civic engagement among all Canadians.

From 2003 until 2016, Action Canada built an alumni network of more than 150 outstanding Fellows from every province and territory. The network includes those whose communities have been here since time immemorial to more recent arrivals to the country including refugees and immigrants. Action Canada Fellows share a common commitment to Canada and a collective acumen for public policy. They represent all sectors of the economy: business, NGOs, government, academia and a multitude of professional endeavours. 

In 2016, Action Canada undertook a strategic visioning process to review the goals, mandate and purpose of the organization, and to chart its future direction.

In 2017, Action Canada and Public Policy Forum negotiated a one-year agreement to jointly deliver Your Energy Future, a national policy engagement and leadership development program. Its success has generated enthusiasm to create a new three-year agreement. PPF and Action Canada will offer three consecutive leadership programs, starting in 2018-19.

The Action Canada Fellowship maintains the high calibre of leadership development that became a signature of the previous iteration of the program. The new program will feature a deeper examination of timely public policy issues, and place greater emphasis on the production and presentation of a public policy report at the end of the Fellowship year. 

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