TORONTO, Oct. 7, 2014 /CNW/ - Mayoral candidates John Tory and Doug Ford have ignored repeated requests to disclose their platform promises on issues that impact the city's college and university students.
"After repeated follow up emails and calls to both campaigns, it is clear that neither Mr. Tory nor Mr. Ford believe student concerns deserve a response," said Alastair Woods, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "Students and youth are a vital part of Toronto life. How can we expect these candidates to improve our city's future if they are bent on ignoring the youth and students who will inherit it?"
As part of the province-wide Generation Vote campaign, students developed a questionnaire asking candidates to provide their platform commitments in five key policy areas: public transit, city services, living wages, child care and access to affordable housing. Candidates were contacted on September 18 and given a deadline of September 26 to respond. To date, only Olivia Chow has answered students' questions.
This is not the first time these candidates have disregarded students' questions and concerns. John Tory cancelled his appearance at a debate and candidate meet and greet session organized by the Ryerson Students' Union, while Doug Ford never responded to the invitation.
"It is increasingly difficult to engage students in this election when two major candidates don't see any value in our issues," said Rajean Hoillett, President of the Ryerson Students' Union. "If anyone is looking for a reason why young people don't vote in large numbers, this is it. We extended our hand as an invitation, only to have Mr. Tory and Mr. Ford knock it away."
Students' unions across the city will continue to educate students on municipal issues and will be encouraging their members to show up to the polls on October 27.
The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario is the province's oldest and largest student organization, representing over 350,000 college and university students. In Toronto, the Federation represents every student at York University, Ryerson University, the University of Toronto, the Ontario College of Art and Design University and George Brown College.
SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Students - Ontario
For further information:
Alastair Woods, Chairperson: 647-378-8942 or firstname.lastname@example.org