Selkirk students hear from candidates

Selkirk College hosted an all candidate debate on Monday afternoon to engage young voters.

Connie Denesiuk from the Liberal party

The Selkirk College Students’ Union held an all-candidate forum on Monday afternoon so that candidates in the South Okanagan-West Kootenay riding could address issues important to students.

Connie Denesiuk from the Liberal party, Richard Cannings from the NDP, and Samantha Troy from the Green party were all in attendance, while Marshall Neufeld from the Conservative party and independent candidate Brian Gray declined to attend.

Candidates answered six questions they’d be given ahead of time on topics ranging from tuition fees, unpaid internships, concerns about the environment and health care, and the report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

When it came to tuition, all three candidates agreed that students needed a break.

Cannings mentioned three approaches his party would take to make post-secondary school more affordable.

“We’ll faze out interest on student loans…. We would also invest $250 million into creating 74,000 student grants for the students who really need it the most…. And thirdly … we would target transfers to the province to go directly to post-secondary education, so that places like Selkirk College have access to continuing funding so they can keep tuition low,” he said.

Denesiuk focused on announcements made by Justin Trudeau the morning of the debate.

“We’re putting $750 million into increasing student grant access for low income students. Additionally to that … the government is going to absorb the interest rates for students while they seek a job, get a job and then begin to earn their income,” she said.

Troy said that her party would eliminate tuition altogether.

“The Green party is and has been committed to abolishing post-secondary tuition by 2020 completely. We will be providing debt relief in the form of a $10,000 ceiling until the abolishment of that tuition, and immediate abolishment of tuition for those students whose economic means at this time are completely holding them back,” she said.

The event was also an opportunity for students to pledge to vote.

Selkirk’s students’ union is taking part in the Canadian Federation of Students BC chapter’s Pledge to Vote campaign, which as of the weekend had collected 4,200 of 10,000 pledges.

“We’re not telling students how to vote, we just want them to vote,” said Robin Legere, organizer/services for the student union. “We want to take those 10,000 pledges to the government and say ‘You know what? You need to listen to students. Students have a voice, … we matter and what is important to us needs to be important to you.’ That’s what the pledge is.”

Alice Paradis in her first year of the Classroom & Community Support Worker program at Selkirk, and pledged to vote following the debate.

She says she hasn’t had much chance to discuss the upcoming election with her peers.

“Everyone’s so busy studying…. I’m actually surprised there hasn’t been more talk, but this has been really great. You get to see who’s here, who might be interested in talking more about it,” she said.

Alexander Pite is a second-year student at Selkirk and he also plans to vote.

Asked which issues he was the most concerned about, he said, “Environmental issues, guaranteed income for families and students, reduced tuition for students. My main thing is the environmental problems that we’re facing.”

 

Just Posted

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Lemon Creek fuel truck driver gets $20,000 fine

Danny LaSante was sentenced in Nelson court today

South Slocan woman killed in Friday crash

Police continue to investigate cause of fatal crash

Castlegar’s Stanley Humphries School’s got talent

Talent show to be held Feb. 21 at Brilliant Cultural Centre

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Most Read