For immediate release Thursday, August 29, 2019
K’JIPUKTUK (HALIFAX) – This federal election, students and youth are seeking bold solutions on two key issues: access to education and climate change. Students are ready to mobilize to make their issues election issues as they head back to class this week.
“Students are ready to take action around this election,” said Lianne Xiao, Chairperson for the Canadian Federation of Students-Nova Scotia. “Students are being crushed by debt and the rising cost of tuition, and we want to see a plan to tackle access to education and the climate crisis. Students are and will be watching what parties are saying about our issues.”
Whoever wins this election will shape this generation’s future. According to the IPCC report, we have less than eleven years left to take action on climate change before the effects of greenhouse gases and fossil fuels are irreversible. National public student debt has never been higher, now sitting at over $36 billion, preventing graduates from starting businesses, starting families or buying their first homes, subsequently choking the economy. Students deserve leaders who will listen to their concerns and implement long-term, sustainable solutions.
“We’re tired of hearing that students are apathetic,” said Xiao. “In the 2015 federal election, we saw student and youth voter turnout increase from 38.8% to 57.1% after a pilot project that put advanced polling stations on 70 campus across the country. This year, with 115 polling stations on campuses across Canada, we expect the student voter turnout will increase at an unprecedented rate.”
For the first time in over 50 years, youth and students will surpass the baby boomers as the largest voting block in the country. Students have made their issues clear: alleviate student debt through tuition free education for all, prioritize access to education for Indigenous students and international students, and tackle the climate crisis. Students and youth are ready to be at the polls and demand bold solutions to the issues that matter to them.
The Canadian Federation of Students is the oldest and largest national student organization in Canada, representing over 500,000 college, undergraduate and graduate students across the country.
Sarah Trower, Organiser, Canadian Federation of Students-Nova Scotia Organiser@cfs-ns.ca