Federal candidates debate on campus

By Fabian Mayer, September 29 2015 —

As the weather cools down, the election campaign is heating up. Voting day is less than three weeks away and the race to form Canada’s next government remains a three-way tie.

The University of Calgary Students’ Union is hosting an all candidates’ forum this week for the riding of Calgary Confederation. The newly created riding contains the U of C and many surrounding communities.

All four major-party candidates have confirmed they will attend the forum, which takes place on Sept. 30 from 12:00–1:00 p.m. in MacHall’s north courtyard.

Discussion topics for the forum include youth engagement, mental health, student debt and aboriginal education. Vice-president external Romy Garrido will moderate. She said the forum is meant to help students make up their minds.

“This forum is specifically for students who are undecided,” Garrido said. “There’s a lot of students who have no idea.

Garrido claims she is also undecided and will make up her mind after hearing what the candidates have to say.

The latest poll released for Calgary Confederation so far has the Liberals and Conservatives virtually tied with 37 and 38 per cent support respectively. The NDP candidate is at 19 per cent, while the Green Party candidate sits at 6 per cent.

Garrido says she is unimpressed with the lack of attention paid to student issues in the campaign so far.

“The last few debates students have been mentioned no more than two or three times which is absolutely disappointing and underwhelming,” Garrido said.

In an effort to improve student voter turnout, the SU is gathering pledges to vote from students with their Get Out The Vote campaign. Garrido said they are just over halfway to their goal of 10,000 pledges.

“We’re hoping that by producing numbers saying, ‘this is the amount of students that committed to vote’ that we can then hear MPs talk more about students,” Garrido said.

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