Young people can help move Canada forward

Ottawa, ON — For the first time ever, young Canadians will outnumber every other voting-aged generation. They have the power to help move Canada forward, standing up against the Conservatives’ cuts and regressive politics.

Today, Liberal candidates Catherine McKenna, Harjit Sajjan and Mélanie Joly are encouraging young people to use that power and vote — especially now that it’s easier than ever, with special voting stations opening on a number of college and university campuses from today until October 9.

Up To YOUth — a campaign created by young leaders involved with the Liberal Party of Canada — is also highlighting why a re-elected Liberal government is the best choice to move Canada forward on the issues that young Canadians care most about.

“The things we’re talking about as Liberals — more affordable tuition, rent and cell phone bills, stronger actions to fight climate change — they’re resonating with young people,” said McKenna, the Liberal candidate in the riding of Ottawa Centre. “So we’re seeing more and more young people stepping up and asking how they can be partners in creating a Canada that is more fair, and more affordable, for everyone.”

In 2015, young people came out in record numbers to elect Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party — countering the idea that they care less about democracy, or are less engaged with what’s happening in the world.

“Young people care about improving the lives of others, about fighting the climate crisis, and ensuring that everyone feels welcome and accepted in Canada,” said Sajjan, the Liberal candidate in the riding of Vancouver South. “Those values are Liberal values, and young people see that.”

For example, a re-elected Liberal government will:

  • Give up to $1,200 more each year to students to pay for tuition, books and rent by increasing Canada Student Grants by 40 per cent;
  • Give students two years — interest free — before they need to begin repaying student loans, and then only if they’re earning at least $35,000.
  • Make life more affordable for young people, lowering cell phone bills by 25 per cent and saving first time homebuyers hundreds on their mortgage each month;
  • Get Canada to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, in part by planting two billion trees;
  • Continue to make big polluters pay, and conserving 25 per cent of Canada’s land and waters;
  • Protect women’s rights to make decisions about their bodies, and improve their access to health care;
  • Set clear national standards for access to mental health services so Canadians can get the support they need quickly, when they need it most;
  • Protect same-sex marriage, ban conversion therapy and fund more LGBTQ2 community groups;
  • Fight racism, and target online hate speech, exploitation, bullying and harassment; and
  • Make big corporations and the wealthiest one per cent of Canadians pay their fair share of taxes.

“Young people are paying attention — they know what an Andrew Scheer government will do,” said Ahuntsic-Cartierville Liberal candidate, Joly. “The very wealthiest will get to keep more money. Big polluters will get to dirty our air and water for free again. Debates we thought were over — about abortion or same-sex marriage — will resurface. Young people aren’t going to stand by and let that happen, and neither will we.”

Backgrounder: More money and flexibility for college and university students