For many young Canadians, the 2015 federal election campaign is all about getting youth to vote. Candidates are promising to fix some of the problems young people are facing in Canada, but are they convincing?
To one Gimli painter, the answer is ‘no’. Kal Shukster, a resident of the Selkirk-Interlake-Eastman riding, doesn’t believe in the Harper government anymore and wants change.
“They ruined Canada and lied to us. Canada used to be a good country. If we keep this government, it’s just going to be chaos,” he said.
After Shukster graduated from Red River College’s Mechanical Engineering Technology program in 2002, he didn’t have many work options. He’s been working as a painter ever since.
Shukster usually goes to Osborne Village and plays his guitar looking to get some extra money as a busker because he says his painting job is not a regular sure-thing.
“I get about twenty dollars each day I come here [Osbsorne Village to busk]. I don’t work every day, and sometimes the money I make is not enough to pay the bills,” said Shukster, 28.
Sarah Ross, 19, said she will vote this year. According to Ross, it’s been difficult to find affordable housing close to where jobs are. She used to live outside of Winnipeg with her family, around the area of Selkirk-Interlake-Eastman riding, and a couple months ago she moved to downtown Winnipeg with a friend.
“I used to work at Polo Park and had to take three buses to get there. It took me two hours to go to work and two hours to go home. I started to get tired and usually was late for work,” said Ross, currently unemployed.
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and NDP leader Tom Mulcair promise to raise funds for programs that will create new jobs. Trudeau is promising $1.5 billion in four years while Mulcair is earmarking $200 million per year to help youth find better jobs. According to the Liberal and NDP websites, both want to strengthen the middle class.
Since some resolutions brought forward by Trudeau and Mulcair are similar, a coalition Liberal-NDP government is a possible result. That would create a temporary alliance between two parties whose shared goal is to knock Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives out of power.
Each party has $25 million dollars to spend on their campaigns trying to convince Canadians that they are the ones to bring about a change for a better Canada.
Still, the question remains whether youth will be mobilized enough in this election, and in future elections, to cast a vote.
This is one in a series of federal election campaign stories completed by Journalism Major students in Red River College’s Creative Communications program. Click here to read more of their articles.