By: Naaz Sekhon, SFU Student
The next Canadian federal election will be held this October, and the three major party leaders are preparing their campaigns. Only three months remain until an election that has voters uneasy about the future of our nation, and it’s crucial that young voters pay attention to the policies our federal candidates are offering.
Current prime minister and leader of the Liberal party, Justin Trudeau, has focused his campaign on helping the middle-class family once again. The Liberals have also chosen to focus on climate change — a cause that aligns with that of many millennials. All that aside, given the ongoing and harsh criticism he has received from the SNC-Lavalin scandal, it’s not unreasonable to assume that the allegations of Liberal government corruption could potentially hurt his votes.
Jagmeet Singh, leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP) party, is the first federal party leader in Canadian political history to come from a visible minority. Singh’s campaign touches on making education accessible to all, as he is advocating to eliminate tuition fees for post-secondary students. His campaign also proposes putting a stop on tax loopholes used by the wealthy, and diverting the otherwise lost revenue to supplementing aid for prescription drug costs. As a local politician, Singh has visited SFU in the recent past, where he spent time listening to students and engaging in different student-led activities.
Conservative party leader Andrew Scheer is focusing his campaign on core conservative values. Scheer’s campaign goals include reducing the tax burden on Canadian families as part of a broader economic plan that also addresses budget waste in government. Scheer has been openly critical of Trudeau and his lax trade practices with China. Thus, he has promised to right what damage he claims Trudeau has done to Canada’s relationship with foreign allies.
It is especially important that young voters, a significant demographic in the upcoming election, stay informed about policies of party leaders. Young voters need to be able to make decisions that will suit their needs and concerns. Especially when it comes to students — whether or not our issues (tuition fees, high cost of living, or the current job market) get resolved is highly dependent on which party is elected.
As one third of the electorate in this election, millennials hold immense power in deciding what the future of our nation will look like. This October, remember to vote and to vote wisely.