The UTGSU encourages everyone who is eligible to vote in the Canadian Federal Elections this October. Voting is a direct way for citizens to directly impact who represents and governs you at the Federal, Provincial, and Municipal levels.
Beyond simply showing up at the polls the UTGSU encourages everyone to be an informed voter – meaning we encourage everyone to do research on what each candidate in your riding best represents you. The UTGSU will be providing some information on official party stances on major issues in the coming weeks as information is made available, as well as information on certain MPs stances in the GTA.
CAN I VOTE?
Anyone who is a Canadian Citizen over the age of 18 can vote. International students or students without Canadian Citizenship cannot vote.
WHERE IS MY RIDING?
If you are not sure which riding you live in you can search for it through the Elections Canada website here:
You can also find information on where your local polling station is within your riding through the Elections Canada website linked above.
WHAT IF I AM NOT FROM TORONTO?
For out of province and non-Torontonian students, you can choose to vote either for your riding in your home province/town OR for your Toronto address. You CANNOT vote for two ridings, this is considered voter fraud, you must choose one riding. To choose a riding you must register with proof of address for the district you would like to vote for.
Please be aware that your local polling station in Toronto on October 21st will not be able to process your vote for a different riding unless it is otherwise stated. Advanced polling stations, and Election Canada offices are able to process distance votes however, please see the question below for more details.
HOW DO I VOTE?
You can vote 4 different ways:
- On October 21st at your assigned polling station.
- On advanced polling days (October 11, 12, 13, and 14) at your designated advanced poll station.
- At any Elections Canada Office before October 15th at 6pm.
- By mail, mail in voter applications must be submitted before October 15th at 6pm.
WHAT DO I NEED TO VOTE?
In order to vote in person at a polling station on October 21st or at an advanced polling station on October 11, 12,13, or 14 you will need government ID and to be registered for the riding you want to vote in. You can register prior to voting online by clicking the link below or in person at your polling station on October 21.
In order to register in person at your polling station you will need proof of your place of residence from one of the approved documents listed on the Elections Canada website here https://www.elections.ca/content2.aspx?section=id&document=index&lang=e
WHAT AM I VOTING FOR?
In Canada, we are governed through a parliamentary system. There are a total of 338 elected officials in parliament, called Members of Parliament (MP). Each MP represents a particular geographic area known as a ‘riding’ or ‘electoral district’. There are 25 electoral districts in Toronto, and the University of Toronto St.George Campus is situated in the University Rosedale riding. During our federal elections individuals vote for candidates running to be MPs to represent a particular ridings. Individual candidates can choose to be members of an organised party, or can run as independent representatives.
When you vote, you should look at each candidate’s platform in addition to their party platform since your MP is ultimately the individual representative of your area, not a single party leader.
Candidate Responses to Common Questions
The UTGSU wants to help students become informed voters. To do so, we contacted all of the candidates running in the University-Rosedale Riding (in which U of T St.George is located) to ask a few questions about some important issues relevant to students and life in Toronto.
You can find responses to our questions by each candidate by clicking on the appropriate block below. Happy Voting! We asked:
1. How would your platform address the financial accessibility of education in University- Rosedale riding?
Students and young people today are finding it increasingly difficult to afford living in Toronto in addition to paying for tuition. The University of Toronto provides conservative estimates for an 8 month school year that students living costs will range on average between 8,088$-10,664$ for housing, and 5,484$-9,780$ for living costs (including food, cell phone plans, transportation etc). This means a student should expect, for an 8 month period, to spend between 13,572$ and 20,444$, not including tuition fees which adds an additional several thousand dollars in expenses.
Someone working full time on a minimum wage salary in Ontario can only expect to make approximately 26,320$ annually, which places this person below the poverty line in Toronto. The reality of student life prevents students from working full time during the school year, meaning that a large portion of students are relying on loans in order to survive, or are living in poverty.
How would your platform address the financial accessibility of education in the University-Rosedale riding given these facts?
2. In order to remain an important global city, Toronto needs better transit. How would your platform address the need for transit in Toronto and the GTA to support the commuter population of students to the University-Rosedale riding?
Toronto is the largest city in Canada, and is also the city with the highest cost of living. To make matters worse, the city is also facing a housing crisis, with vacancy rates between 1.1% and 0.7% making it difficult for students to find housing at all (https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2019/ph/bgrd/backgroundfile-124480.pdf). For this reason, many students as well as workers choose to live outside of Toronto’s main urban core and commute into the city on a regular basis. This means that many students rely on either public transportation or driving to commute to school every day.
Problematically, traffic in the GTA ranks among the worst in the world, and transit in Toronto remains woefully underdeveloped and unreliable. While provincial and municipal governments continually promise to develop new transit plans, these plans rarely result in action and are frequently the locations of political debates. Most recently, for example, the Ontario Conservatives budget would cut 1.1 billion dollars from public funding to transit in the province over the next 10 years (https://www.ttcriders.ca/provincial-funding-cuts-jeopardize-ttc-accessibility/).
In order to remain an important global city, Toronto needs better transit. How would your platform address the need for transit in Toronto and the GTA to support the commuter population of students to the University-Rosedale riding?
3. There is currently an opioid epidemic in Canada that often is identified as a national public health crisis. If elected, how would you address this crisis?
There’s currently an opioid epidemic in Canada, that often is identified as a national public health crisis. It is estimated that there’s an average of 10 opioid-related deaths per day. Moreover, Canadians are the second highest consumers (per capita) of opioids in the world after the US. A number of previous governments had plans to address this crisis via various public services like safe needle exchange programs, and safe injection sites in and around the GTA. Many of these services have been halted or reduced.
Given this context, if elected, how would you address this crisis?
4. How do you plan to address the need for improving health care for transgender and non-binary people?
In Canada, 22-43% gender non-binary people report having attempted suicide in their lifetimes (https://www.suicideinfo.ca/resource/transgender-people-suicide/). Transgender people are also frequently the targets of extreme physical violence in Canada. Seeing this, transition surgeries and hormone therapies are life-saving treatments in helping non-binary people’s mental health, ability to access certain services, and ability to pass. Access to certain types of health care, such as transition surgeries and hormone treatments, are unfortunately prohibitively costly for many transgender and gender non-binary people.
Given this, how do you plan to address the need for improving health care for transgender and non-binary people?
5. Are there any issues pertinent to the University-Rosedale riding, besides the ones previously mentioned, that you plan to address if elected?
Are there any issues pertinent to the University-Rosedale riding, besides the ones previously mentioned, that you plan to address if elected?
6. What would you consider is the most pressing issue affecting the city of Toronto and what is your plan to address it.
What would you consider is the most pressing issue affecting the city of Toronto, and what is your plan to address it?