More than 20 people filed into the Lucky Bean Cafe last Wednesday evening. Young Voters of PEI, a non-partisan group, held a discussion forum with candidates from the Cardigan Riding in the upcoming federal election.
The candidates were presented 10 questions.
This is the second of four events YVPEI is holding to give young people the opportunity to interact with candidates.
Brooks Roche, a 22-year old from the Montague area, attended the panel discussion and later asked the candidates for a more in-depth explanation on their climate action policies.
“What I’m concerned about is the climate crisis. It’s undeniable there is a crisis in the world happening right now, and parties need to address this. Candidates need to individually address this for their prospective ridings,” Mr Roche said.
The candidates present involved were Glen Beaton, Green Party; Wayne Phelan, Conservatives and Christine Squires, of the Christina Heritage Party.
Liberal Lawrence MacAulay and Lynne Thiele, with NDP were absent. Ms Thiele was in Charlottetown attending a lecture on universal basic income. Mr MacAulay had a previous engagement.
Jason Hogan helped organize the discussion and said the turnout so far, this being the second of four, has been what he hoped for.
“I was really happy with the turnout, our most popular events tend to be election viewing parties,” Mr Hogan said.
Mr Hogan began the discussion with acknowledging the event took place on unceded Mi’kmaq territory. Questions to the candidates were given one at a time and each had one minute to respond. They ranged from how each candidate would handle the housing situation in the Cardigan Riding to the environment such as the parties’ views on the Northern Pulp issue in Nova Scotia, and whether or not the parties would keep the carbon tax if elected.
Candidates also fielded questions about jobs for young people, the new trade agreement with the US and Mexico, their party’s stance on a Universal Basic Income and the Wood Islands ferry. There were also questions about repairing relations with the Mi’kmaq and what each candidate’s view on immigration in the Cardigan Riding.
Young people from ages 20 to 29 represent 14 per cent of the population in the Cardigan Riding, according to the 2016 Census.
Mr Roche said politics and current affairs are not overly popular among his friends but he feels that is slowly shifting.
“There is a rumbling occurring that people do care about what’s happening in their political environment because a political environment is just your environment. It’s where you live,” Mr Roche said
The federal election is on October 21, 2019.