Lily Small, Grade 12 at Thomas Haney secondary, takes part in the student vote at the school on Tuesday. (Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS)

VIDEO: Students in Maple Ridge weigh in on election issues

The student vote results won’t be disclosed until after the polls close on Oct. 21

This week, local students are voting for Canada’s next prime minister.

Although the vote doesn’t count, because none of these individuals are old enough to legally vote, their decisions will tell society about the issues resonating with students today and how they might vote when old enough.

Student Vote is a learning program that provides students across the country with the opportunity to experience the voting process firsthand.

On vote day, students will be taking on the role of election workers by coordinating a vote within their school. Then participating students will cast ballots for the election candidates running in the school’s electoral district.

In the Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows School District, 25 schools will be participating.

Their opinions matter, as five students from Thomas Haney secondary and two students from Maple Ridge secondary shared their views on the process.

Dane Matthews, a Grade 12 student at Thomas Haney secondary said that carbon tax is the most important issue for him.

“I’ve noticed gas prices when I am driving it’s really taking a toll on my every day budget. So it’s definitely at struggle for me to be able to afford tuition for university for me as well with the carbon tax,” he said.

RELATED: Student groups launch nationwide get-out-the-vote push ahead of federal campaign

One thing he has learned by watching this election is that he needs to broaden his horizons.

“I definitely thing there is value there between all the candidates and they all have very good stances,” he said.

Matthews finds he is most in line with the Liberal Party as well as the NDP.

Katie Duchak, a Grade 11 student at Maple Ridge secondary says that climate change, the environment and greenhouse gas emissions are the most important issues for her.

The one thing she is learning about the election is just how important it is.

“I feel like lots of people take advantage of the vote and don’t take it seriously, especially the younger generations,” said Duchak.

Right now she is stuck between supporting either the Conservative Party or the Liberals.

Brianna Dyer, a Grade 11 student at Thomas Haney secondary says climate change is the biggest issue for her in the election, but also affordable education.

What she has learned from watching this election is that Party advertisements are more about putting the other Party down as opposed to promoting their own platforms.

Dyer likes both the NDP and the Green Party.

Julia Faria, a Grade 11 student at Thomas Haney secondary says the most important issues for her is the carbon tax as well as climate change.

“I will be driving soon, even if I don’t get my own car, if I am borrowing one of my parents cars I would have to take responsibility of paying for gas,” she said, adding that the price of gas is extremely high.

Faria says she has noticed that Party leaders are not explaining why voters should support them.

She is drawn towards the NDP as well as the Green and Liberal Party’s..

Aidan Scarcella, a Grade 11 student at Maple Ridge secondary, says his number one issue is the environment.

“I think this election is the major break point because after this is the point of no return,” he said.

He also thinks the cost of living is another big issue.

He has learned the importance of reading a lot about the election and watching the debates to stay informed.

“As long as you vote and you make a decently educated vote, I think that is important because we have the right to vote and in some countries people don’t,” he said.

From an economic standpoint, Scarcella says he feels more aligned with the Conservative Party.

Kai Koerner, a Grade 12 student at Thomas Haney secondary says a big issue for him is the lack of concrete jobs like registered nurses and licensed practitioners.

“There’s a problem, especially with geriatric nursing is not enough people wanting to do it and the problem with an aging population is that you need people to take care of the elderly,” he said.

Koerner believes from watching this election that the main Party’s lack creative ideas to solve problems.

He feels his beliefs resonate most with The People’s Party of Canada.

Madelyn Somersgill, a Grade 11 at Thomas Haney secondary says two main issues for her in this election is the reconciliation process and climate change.

What she has learned is about figuring out how realistic the promises are that the politicians are making.

”It’s just a lot of things that are said it’s just so clear that they aren’t going to be able to fully be implemented,” she said.

Somersgill likes the Green Party best because of their focus on climate change and immigration.


 

cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

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