Jackie Seidel is the NDP candidate in Calgary-Varsity. She had been a teacher for 21 years. Currently she serves as the director of field curriculum and is an assistant professor in the faculty of education at the University of Calgary.
"I really, really care about the issues that affect students and young adults. Post-secondary students' concerns need to be taken seriously and [students] should not just be future workers or taxpayers, they should be treated as citizens," said Seidel. "The purpose of a university is not just for jobs, it's for education of all kinds."
The NDP's platform points on post-secondary education include immediately freezing tuition fees, removing all non-instructional fees collected by post-secondary institutions for operating revenue, and starting fall 2012, reducing tuition fees by 10 per cent.
"Access to education is a human right. It creates a just and fair society. The cost of post-secondary education is putting it out of reach for many Albertans. I think Alberta is a compassionate place and I think it's important for equitable access for disadvantaged groups, including those with disabilities and indigenous students as well as students from rural areas. Alberta is a really rich province and I believe we can afford high quality education for all."
Other Alberta NDP platform points include helping students who graduate from Alberta post-secondary institutions and who are living in Alberta by forgiving up to $1,000 per year until student loans are paid off, replacing the revenue lost from reducing tuition fees and eliminating non-instructional fees and working with trade unions to increase apprenticeship training.
Voting takes place on April 23. Polls are open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. If you reside in Varsity, you can vote at 300 Lounge Varsity Courts, 3735 32 Avenue NW. To be able to vote, you must be 18 years or older on election day, be a Canadian citizen and must have had Albertan residency for six months immediately proceeding the election.