Ontario students engage in final push to make the youth vote count

TORONTO, Oct. 19, 2015 /CNW/ - Ontario's college and university students are hosting actions and events on campuses across the province today for one final push to ensure young people and students vote in the federal election. With a strong early showing in special on-campus and advance polls, students' unions are hoping this Election Day can prove once and for all that students are a powerful political force.

"From rising tuition fees and student debt, to youth unemployment and Aboriginal education, students have consistently proposed thoughtful and practical solutions to the challenges we face," said Rajean Hoilett, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "But for years our ideas for change have been ignored or dismissed by decision-makers in Ottawa. That ends today."

Through the lobbying efforts of the Federation, an Elections Canada pilot project brought special on-campus polling stations to 38 colleges and universities across the country from October 5-8. The polling stations allowed students to vote for their home riding, even if it was outside of campus. Over 70,000 students cast ballots at these polling stations ahead of advance polls over Thanksgiving weekend.

"The huge number of early student voters disproves the myth that we are apathetic or uninterested in politics," said Gabrielle Ross-Marquette, Ontario National Executive Representative for the Federation. "On the contrary, we are a dynamic and engaged political force to be reckoned with. We will prove that students can determine the outcome of this election."

Students will eagerly await tonight's election results and reach out immediately to new MP's both in government and opposition to ensure the next session of Parliament makes youth and student issues a top priority for the new government – whoever that may be.

The Canadian Federation of Students–Ontario unites more than 350,000 college and university students in all regions of the province.

SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students

For further information: Rajean Hoilett, Chairperson, 289-923-3534 (cellphone) or chair@cfsontario.ca; Gabrielle Ross-Marquette (francophone/bilingual), National Executive Representative, 647-918-9864 (cellphone) or national@cfsontario.ca; Alastair Woods, Government & Media Relations Coordinator, 647-378-8942 (cellphone) or communications@cfsontario.ca

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