CUPE Local 1356 Blog

Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 1356. We have three Collective Agreements as Local 1356, 1356-01, and 1356-02. The membership is comprised of the full-time and part-time workers of York University the Local website is at 1356.cupe.ca This Blog will include Local information and information garnered from sources other Universities, Colleges, Post Secondary/Tertiary Education and news sources supplying information.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

University Student Vote Could be a Factor in this Federal Election

Toronto - University students will be a new factor that could influence the upcoming election, predicts NDP leader Jack Layton, who notes that previous early summer elections have not allowed for campuses to get out the student vote.

Speaking to a small gathering of students at the University of Toronto campus, NDP leader Jack Layton said his party would restore what he estimates was $4-billion in cuts to post-secondary education made by the Liberals in the 1990s.

Mr. Layton said the new spending would be paid for by scrapping the corporate tax cuts the Liberals announced in this fall's fiscal update.

The U of T campus is in the riding of Trinity-Spadina, where Mr. Layton's wife, Olivia Chow, has resigned her seat on city council to run against Liberal cabinet minister Tony Ianno.

This election will be the third time Ms. Chow has challenged Mr. Ianno. Her two previous attempts, in 1997 and 2004, came very close to unseating the Liberals in the riding.

With recent elections taking place in late spring or early summer, Mr. Layton noted that university students are away from school and often preoccupied with other matters in the summer but this time they will be debating the election issues.

"I think it will mean that more young people will get out to vote. When you have an election in June, naturally the students are spread out. They're trying to find a summer job so they can pay for the unrealistically and unfair prices of post-secondary education that we've seen since Paul Martin came into office," he said.

Ms. Chow, who was officially nominated as a candidate Tuesday night while her husband was campaigning in Hamilton, told the Globe and Mail Tuesday that getting out the student vote will still be difficult.

Many students will soon be heading home following exams and won't be returning until just prior to the Jan. 23rd vote. As a result, her team will be contacting the university deans to submit the list of tenants at campus residences to Elections Canada in order to push for speedy registration.

"It will be difficult for them to get enumerated," she said. "We know that if they are enumerated, a lot of them like what the NDP does and will support us."

Sean Watters, a U of T political science student who is organizing for the NDP on campus, said that while the political views of university students range across the political spectrum, the NDP is quite popular with students given the party's push for lower tuition.

"My gut instinct tells me there is a very strong support for the NDP among students," he said.

Mr. Layton also added his voice to the feud between the Liberals and Conservatives over Prime Minister Paul Martin's jibe that Conservative leader Stephen Harper had difficulty answering a reporter's question as to whether he loves Canada.

When asked the same question, Mr. Layton replied: "I love this country" and went on to list the country's values and opportunities.

"But we can't take it for granted, that's the problem. We're saying what we love about Canada being taken apart piece by piece. So I hope that it becomes a factor, an issue, in this election; what we feel about our country, what we feel is important about it."
appears to be from the Globe and Mail

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