SCRIBES: Students get a taste of federal politics

by Talia Bacon, Patrick Fogarty Catholic Secondary School

featuring the work of young journalists from Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District High Schools

This past month, Patrick Fogarty Catholic Secondary School in Orillia hosted an “All Candidates Meeting” for the political candidates vying to represent Simcoe North in the federal election. During this meeting, students asked questions about topics that were relevant to themselves and their community.

Throughout the 90 minute meeting, candidates informed students about important issues. Green Party representative Valerie Powell introduced her party’s 20-step climate change plan when she addressed the current climate crisis. Christian Heritage Party member Chris Brown expressed the importance of safe injection sites when he talked about the opioid crisis.

After the All Candidates meeting, students participated in Student Vote 2019. Student Vote is a government initiative that allows students to participate in the voting process, engages young people in politics, and gives them the opportunity to have a voice in the future of their county, and their country. Out of the 542 students who participated, 172 students voted for Bruce Stanton, from the Conservative party, and 126 voted for Angelique Belcourt from the NDP party. “I learned what each candidate’s party stood for. I also learned that the majority of candidates stand for things that help the older generation when we are the future,” one student said. “I chose to vote for the candidate that I voted for because I feel that candidate best represents me,” another said.

Students were comfortable enough with their candidates to start joking after some technical difficulties with the microphone system. One student said, “Why should we take ecology advice from someone who can’t even operate a microphone?” After success with the microphone, the Green Party’s Valerie Powell said “Oh look, I can work the microphone!”

The All Candidates meeting was an overall success, with students learning more about the political state of their region, and getting to know the people who represent them, their families, and their communities.

Students were comfortable enough with their candidates to start joking after some technical difficulties with the microphone system. One student said, “Why should we take ecology advice from someone who can’t even operate a microphone?” After success with the microphone, the Green party’s Valerie Powell said “Oh look, I can work the microphone!”

The All Candidates meeting was an overall success, with students learning more about the political state of their region, and getting to know the people who represent them, their families, and their communities.