JCI Debate – Why Each St. Catharines Candidate Can Best Represent Youth in Niagara

Heading into tonight’s JCI Federal Election (7:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn on Ontario St.), I asked five members of the emerging generation why the candidate they support is the best choice to represent Niagara.

This debate promises to be an interesting one, in particular as it features all five registered candidates.

Question: Why do you think [Party] and/or [Candidate] is the best choice for young people in Niagara and/or Canada?

Answers (Party, Candidate, ThreeHundredEight riding vote projection [details here], 2011 election redistributed results)

TBD – (Green Party of Canada, Jim Fannon, 4.1%, 3.83%)
Jason Brown – (Liberal Party of Canada, Chris Bittle, 30.5%, 20.69%)

I fundamentally believe we need better government in Canada, not just different government. Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada have laid out one of the most comprehensive plans in a generation to do government differently. This includes reviewing our current electoral system and alternatives to strengthen Canadian democracy, making parliament open by default (including the Prime Minister’s Office, Minister’s Offices) through access to information requests, and committing to having 50% Male and 50% Female representation in the Federal cabinet. Additionally, the Liberal Party of Canada and Justin Trudeau have committed to implementing a Prime Minister’s Youth Advisory Council that will allow the Prime Minister to remain up to date on issues of importance and concerns youth may have.

As for why Chris Bittle is the best choice for St. Catharines and the Niagara region. Chris knows the struggle of being a young person and trying to make ends meet. He has stood up for those without a voice for years with his involvement in the Quest Community Health Centre. I first met Chris earlier this year and I was impressed with his ability to relate to young people and the struggles we go through. I was impressed by his thorough grasp of the issues facing the city of St. Catharines.
Mickey Calder – (New Democratic Party, Sue Erskine-Fournier, 21.1%, 23.95%)

Drew Garvie – (Communist Party of Canada, Saleh Waziruddin, 0.3%, 0.2%)

Saleh Waziruddin is the best choice for young people because voting communist demands a youth and student agenda. St. Catharines-Niagara has some of the worst unemployment rates in Ontario and Canada, and youth unemployment is double the average rate. The average undergraduate in Canada graduates $27,000 in debt and in Ontario it’s even higher. Our generation is the first since WWII which will have a lower living standard then their parents’ generation. Under Harper, Canada has become a voice for oil corporations in international climate negotiations. Saleh and the Communist Party think that education is a right and that youth should have decent jobs with higher wages. We support the elimination of tuition fees, the establishment of a living stipend for students, and the cancellation of all student debt. We demand that the minimum wage federally and provincially be raised to a living wage of $20/hr and that youth unemployment be eliminated through massive public green job creation, building affordable housing, expanding infrastructure, social services and funding for arts and culture. We would facilitate the unionization of young workers with a new Labour Bill of Rights.
We need to scrap CETA negotiations and the TPP and withdraw from NAFTA. Free trade has resulted in huge job loss in manufacturing that used to be the backbone of communities such as St. Catharines. Saleh is taking a strong stand against corporate greed by saying that if profitable companies don’t want to produce in Canada, we can take over the plants and the government can run them under democratic control. Saleh is a consistent fighter against racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia and the Communist Party of Canada demands full equality. The Communist Party supports closing the Tar Sands and expanding public green energy, as does the environmental movement. This is the kind of bold agenda, demanded by the youth and student movement, that can move Canada in a new direction. Voting for Saleh is a recognition that there will be a long-term fight for this future, but that voting for these policies is a small step towards the necessary goal of a socialist Canada.

Michael Ramnanan – (Conservative Party of Canada, Rick Dykstra, 44%, 50.66%)

Rick Dykstra is one of the best local MPs in Canada. He’s done way more for St. Catharines than anyone else before him.

Personally I didn’t have to pay tax on my scholarship like my older brother did. I also got to save with lower taxes and a Textbook Tax Credit. Those are Conservative policies.

Balanced budgets are better for people our age than optional deficits. I don’t think it’s a good thing that Kathleen Wynne is supporting the Liberal plan. I bet the Ontario Liberals seemed a lot better 12 years ago, but reckless spending catches up to you and now our generation is paying the price.

I help Rick Dykstra because he’s great at his job. Rick is active in the community and cares about delivering results for people like us.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s