Voting 101- We Need Students to Vote

Written by: Julia DiPalo

As the federal election nears, many univesity students still have not looked into voting. Many don’t know how to vote, how to register, or who they might vote for. I am here to try and answer all of those questions!

You have to register!
Many students don’t know that they have to register to vote in order to get a voting card in the mail. The election nears and they are still waiting for a card that isn’t coming! To help you not be that person, here is the link to register with Elections Canada.  This will take you through steps to prove you are a Candian citizen and eligible to vote in the federal election. If you would rather not register online, they have many locations around the Durham Region to register in person. You can also register on October 19th at your polling station.

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Platforms
Conservative Party – introduced “family tax cut” that allows couples with children under age 18 to split up to $50,000 of income; caps non-refundable benefit at $2,000. Aims to create 700,000 new homeowners by 2020. Bring in a $2,000 tax credit for single seniors to help nearly 1.6 million seniors with pension income. Aims to create 1.3 million net new jobs by 2020. Committed to reducing Canada’s emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030, largely relying on provincial measures to meet that goal.
Liberal Party – Cut middle-class income-tax bracket to 20.5 per cent from current 22 per cent; create a new tax bracket of 33 per cent for annual incomes of more than $200,000. Spend about $1.5 billion over four years on a youth job strategy to help 125,000 young people find a job. Increase Canada Student Grants by 50 per cent to $3,000 a year. Allow students to wait until they’re earning at least $25,000 a year before requiring them to start repaying student loans.
New Democratic Party – Increase income-tax rates on Canada’s largest corporations. Create $15-a-day national child care program, and create or maintain one million affordable child care spaces across Canada. Provide up to $100 million a year to create more than 40,000 jobs, paid internships and co-op placements for youth over four years.
Green Party – Cut tuition fees for students and their families without adequate financial means. Forgive all student loans over $10,000. Abolish interest on new student loans and increase available funding for bursaries. Create a national Community and Environment Service Corps, to provide $1 billion a year to municipalities to hire youth. Raise corporate taxes over four years from the current level of 15 per cent to 19 per cent. Reduce federal small business tax rate to nine per cent by 2019.

You still might be thinking, “I have no idea what this all means…” and that is okay! All I am trying to do here is give you same basic parts of each of the parties platforms so that if you see something you like/dislike you can look into it deeper! I encourage you to educate yourself on the election and please vote. Many students don’t vote and their opinions alone could completely change an election!

Have some questions about voting? Check out Elections Canada’s website here

Don’t forget: October 19th is voting day!  Know where your polling station is?  Click here to find out

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