Students Respond to Election and Referendum Results



    Ontario's New Government Has Big Challenges to Address

    TORONTO, Oct. 10 /CNW/ - College and university students from across
Ontario lined up at polling stations today in an unprecedented display of
youth interest in electoral politics. Elections Ontario worked with the
Canadian Federation of Students to promote youth participation in the election
by reducing barriers to student voting and bringing polling stations to every
campus with a residence.
    "Students across Ontario were glued to their television sets as they
watched the results come in for the election and referendum," said Jen Hassum,
Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "On behalf of
Ontario's college and university students, I want to congratulate every
candidate who was elected to the provincial legislature today."
    Over the past four weeks, more than 400,000 election and referendum
fliers were distributed by students on campuses and in their communities
throughout the province. In addition, students launched and promoted two
websites to educate voters about their choices at the ballot box:
www.VoteEducation.ca and www.ChangeTheSystem.ca.
    "Students feel strongly that Ontario took a wrong turn two years ago when
the government cancelled the tuition fee freeze and replaced it with dramatic
fee increases," said Hassum. "With 75 per cent of voters supporting a
reduction of tuition fees, the new government has a mandate and a
responsibility to set about making higher education more affordable."
    Today's election results were overshadowed for many students by the
projected defeat of the proposed new electoral system - Mixed Member
Proportional - in the province-wide referendum. "Recent polling showed that 67
per cent of voters under the age of 35 supported the new voting system," said
Hassum. "Young people hoped that electoral reform would mean more fairness,
diversity, and proportionality in the legislature. Tonight's projected defeat
of Mixed Member Proportional reinforces a massive generational divide in
Ontario."
    "Accessible, affordable post-secondary education is crucial to Ontario's
economy," said Hassum. "Students are committed to working with the new
government to move Ontario from having nearly the highest tuition fees and the
lowest funding, up to the head of the pack."

    The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario unites more than 300,000
college and university students at 35 students' unions across the province.





For further information:

For further information: Jen Hassum, Chairperson: (416) 925-3825 or
(416) 832-9073 (cell); Joel Duff, Ontario Organiser: (416) 925-3825 or (416)
707-0349 (cell)


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