Federal Election

Campus political clubs highlight job, wage promises

The leaders of political societies at Dalhousie University are pushing their parties’ messages on helping students pay back loans

Dalhousie Students
Dalhousie students gathered in the quad.   The Stoodio

Adam Cheyne, president of the Dalhousie Young Liberals, says the Liberal platform includes an employment strategy to bring 120,000 jobs to young people in the first year of being elected.

“We found that some of the main issues students have are student debt and tuition,” Cheyne said, specifically the “economic stability of provinces and being able to get a job afterwards.”

Group photo of the Dalhousie Young Liberals at the Society Expo.   Shelby Banks

Cheyne stated Justin Trudeau will support students by taking these issues seriously.

“Justin will act on youth employment, student loans and has committed to giving youth and young families in Canada a fair chance to join the middle class.”

Cheyne is also trying to make students aware of the Liberal platform on the environment.

“The Harper government has been completely immobile on it,” said Cheyne.

He credited the Liberal government in Ontario with working to reduce emissions by removing all coal plants in the province.

“Students need a government that will support them – Justin Trudeau has vowed to make real change happen for youth,” said Cheyne.

Dalhousie NDP Society

Mahbubur Rahman, the president of the Dalhousie NDP Society, said he’s working hard to revive the club, as it has been inactive for the last two years.

A group photo of the Dalhousie NDP society with Megan Leslie.
A group photo of the Dalhousie NDP society with Megan Leslie.   Tahrim Alam

He’s trying to focus student attention on the NDP campaign promise to reenact a federal minimum wage, which was abolished by the Liberals in 1996. The NDP platform promises to increase wage for students to $15 an hour.

“Those on minimum wage know how difficult it is, wanting to graduate, and to have a family and wanting children and having child care,” said Rahman.

Rahman highlights the NDP will make education more accessible for students by increasing funding to post-secondary education.

“Right now it’s [mainly] a provincial matter,” said Rahman. “But it shouldn’t be.”

He also pointed out that the NDP aims to restore federal funding to the provinces that has been cut back by the federal government.

He praised the incumbent NDP candidate in the riding of Halifax, Megan Leslie.

“She is not someone who lives in Ottawa and comes to Halifax every so often,” he said. “She is one of us.”

Dalhousie Young Greens

The president of Young Greens at Dalhousie, David Williams, is focusing more on getting students out to vote.

Williams stated the Green Party is offering students a way out of debt – providing students with free tuition.

Other than that, he is stressing that a vote for the Green Party is not “a wasted vote.”

“You are voting for what you want,” he said. And that vote shows others that the party has “people backing them” for the next election.

Dalhousie Progressive Conservative Society

Dalhousie also has a Progressive Conservative Society, whose Facebook page states that it supports the provincial party “and the CPC.” An interview with the society president was not possible.

According to the Elections Canada website, the voter turnout in the 2011 election for 2011 for young people between the ages of 18 to 24 was 38.8 per cent.

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The voter turnout of the Federal Election in 2011 by age group (elections.ca).

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The voter turnout for the Federal election by age group from 2004 to 2011 (elections.ca).

“Go vote, I can’t stress enough about how important it is to vote,” said Williams.  We need youth voting and if we don’t vote, there’s a chance Harper could get re-elected and no one wants that.”