Eli Ridder | The Avro Post
Politicians from three Ontario political parties took the stage in the Humber College Student Centre to promote their platforms during The Panel, a discussion focused largely on students and young adult issues.
Han Dong, a sitting member of provincial parliament for the Trinity-Spadina riding in Toronto, represented the Ontario Liberals and utilized an array of statistics and policy knowledge to defend his ruling party.
New Democratic Party candidate for the Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas riding Sandy Shaw countered the Liberal MPP on several issues, and strongly promoted party leader Andrea Horwath’s “student-friendly” platform.
Pauline Thornham represented the provincial Green Party, sticking to party platform and touting welfare, environmental and social values.
All three are running in their respective ridings in the upcoming provincial election slated for June.
The Progressive Conservative Party was set to send Simmer Sandhu, and despite the fact that he scheduled several weeks in advance, the candidate and former University of Guelph-Humber alumnus cancelled the afternoon before.
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Watch part two of The Panel. Part one was set up, so this is the start of it.
The first question asked by The Panel host Adam Donaldson of Guelph Politico was what the different parties could do for students, and they all had varied and descriptive answers.
“Students are our future, and I don’t think they’ve been well served to this point by the governments that we’ve had in place,” Ms. Shaw said, addressing “crushing debt” and the lack of jobs experienced by many Ontario post-secondary students.
The NDP candidate said that students “care about a world where we pay attention to our environment…fair and kind to everyone and there’s an inclusive society”, along with accountable government involving electoral reform.
Shaw touted the NDP’s debt forgiveness program where tuition loans would be turned into grants, all future tuition would be universally free and there would be more co-op opportunities for those enrolled in post-secondary.
Liberal MPP Dong cited student organizations and their presence at Queen’s Park as a positive way for their message to be shared in the provincial legislature.
Mr. Dong cited top three issues for students that he has heard at parliament: tuition, mental health and anxiety over graduate jobs, saying that his ruling Liberal Party have taken steps in all three issues.
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Keep watching here.
Watch the closing statements of the panelists. Note that Pauline Thornham’s closing was cut off right near the end due to a full memory card.
All footage Creative Commons The Avro Post 2018, and can be reused with credit to The Avro Post. Image of The Panel: Students and Politics Mar. 23, 2018 from Fredrick Lariviere.