University and college students in Toronto are still being ignored by mayoral candidates John Tory and Doug Ford, the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario said in a news release last week.
The candidates have not responded to many emails and calls, said Alastair Woods, chairperson of the CFS-O. “It is clear that neither Mr. Tory nor Mr. Ford believe student concerns deserve a response,” he said.
On Sept. 18, a questionnaire was sent out asking the top candidates to speak about their views on transit, child care, living wages, city services and access to affordable housing. The candidates were given a week to respond, but only Olivia Chow had done so.
Ford and Tory were both absent from a debate that was organized by the Ryerson Students’ Union in mid-September. Tory cancelled last minute and Ford did not respond to the invitation.
That same day, Tory dropped out of the transit debate and two other debates that were scheduled for later in the week.
Tory’s explanation for not showing up to these appearances had to do with his busy campaign. “John has extraordinary demands on his time and, unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate every event and request,” read a statement from his camp.
Rajean Hoilett, RSU president, said this is one of the reasons why young people are not eager to go out and vote. “It is increasingly difficult to engage students in this election when two major candidates don’t see any value in our issues.”
With just days left until the municipal election, university and college students’ unions are still encouraging their members to vote.
By Christina Botticchio