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BC Election 2017, Politics, News

Millennial perspectives: What you told us about jobs and the economy

BC Election 2017, Politics, News

Millennial perspectives: What you told us about jobs and the economy

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DH Vancouver Staff May 06, 2017 4:14 am 1,540

In a BC election campaign that had voters and candidates debating a wide range of topics, Daily Hive reached out to young voters for their thoughts on the big issues.

Sure enough, many of you had plenty to say when it came to the topic of jobs and economy. Here’s what you had to say.

Scott MacDonald

Young voter Scott MacDonald (Scott MacDonald)

Young voter Scott MacDonald (Scott MacDonald)

  • Age: 21
  • Lives: Currently living in Point Grey while at UBC, originally from Squamish

My perspective on jobs and the economy:

As a student, future job opportunities are certainly one of my main recurring thoughts. A large reason that this topic is one that interests or concerns me the most is because of the historical rhetoric behind it.

Over time, I think people have really come to associate words like ‘pipeline’ or ‘LNG’ with a prospering economy and, conversely, others such as ‘environmentally friendly’ with a failing economy.

These words seem to have become buzzwords for politicians to use in order to attract certain subsets of the population.

In the process, these stereotypes are reinforced and I think the big step for many people, whichever their political beliefs, is to look beyond these generalizations and do their own research into the subject.

I think the most refreshing action one of our prospective premiers could take is to begin proposing alternative methods of growing our economy in ways that look beyond our own individual biases.

In this way, I believe BC could set precedent for a truly sustainable economy.

Andrew Liang

Young voter Andrew Liang (Andrew Liang)

Young voter Andrew Liang (Andrew Liang)

  • Age: 21
  • Lives: Splits time between residence at UBC and parents’ house in North Surrey

My perspective on jobs and the economy:

I’ll give credit where credit is due. The BC Liberals have presided over a robust and growing economy in the Lower Mainland and I can see that with my personal employment prospects and how well my parents have been doing with their business.

Now that the economy is doing fairly well, the question is how do we make sure that the wealth generated is distributed throughout British Columbia? While my family may be doing well, I have plenty of friends and their families who are still struggling financially with large amounts of debt.

I want to see our next government maintain an environment where businesses can grow while making sure that as many people around the province can benefit financially from this growth. Whether this means tax cuts or increased government subsides and programs, I want to see more concrete action being taken.

Navneet Sekhon

Young Voter Navneet Sekhon (Navneet Sekhon)

Young Voter Navneet Sekhon (Navneet Sekhon)

  • Age: 21
  • Lives: In Surrey

My perspective on jobs and the economy:

I just graduated this past year and the struggle of getting a full-time job pertaining to my education has been difficult.

Even now, 10 months later, I still have to do part-time at multiple places, which does not qualify me for health benefits.

I think jobs and affordability are very important because they branch into the other issues.

For example, no job means no income, no income means I can’t afford transit passes or rideshare rates. I can’t afford to buy environmentally conscious items or contribute to the cause. If I do have a job, the majority of my income will go towards a mortgage or rent.

Nicole Douglas

Young voter Nicole Douglas (Nicole Douglas)

Young voter Nicole Douglas (Nicole Douglas)

  • Age: 22
  • Lives: In Victoria

My perspective on jobs and the economy:

As an aspiring law student, I get told every day how horrible the job market is for new lawyers and it’s discouraging. It doesn’t diminish my drive to pursue that career, but it can feel like a losers game sometimes.

We spend all this time and money on post-secondary education, only to be told there’s no work for us once we’ve graduated.

I don’t know who or what is to blame for it, but this issue definitely played a huge role in where I cast my vote this provincial election.

Politicians need to listen to younger generations when we say that we’re willing to work hard for the jobs we want and do something about the lack of job opportunities out there.

William Ross Chernoff

Young voter William Ross Chernoff (Don Gavin)

Young voter William Ross Chernoff (Don Gavin)

  • Lives: In Vancouver

My perspective on jobs and the economy:

I plan to choose a science-based career among the industries that drive BC’s economy. Imagining what we might be doing over the next five, 10, or 20 years in BC is exciting! I am fortunate to live in a place that excites me in this way.

Vanessa Obeng

Young voter Vanessa Obeng (Vanessa Obeng)

Young voter Vanessa Obeng (Vanessa Obeng)

  • Age: 28
  • Lives: In Surrey

My perspective on jobs and the economy: 

There goes my chances of buying a home, owning or affording anything real to improve my life and eventually our province. I would like more affordable homes, better wages, and a stronger, more reliable economy.

Jonathan Tam

Jonathan Tam Voter Profile (Jonathan Tam)

Jonathan Tam Voter Profile (Jonathan Tam)

  • Age: 23
  • Lives: In Port Coquitlam

My perspective on jobs and the economy:

As BC’s economy grows and jobs are created, we have the potential to have a rise in inflation, which I believe we are already showing signs of.

It is interesting to see how the government will manage it, as they may feel the urge to ‘pick up the slack’ of the other have-not provinces, at the expense of the standard of living of the middle class.

Madison Fleischer

Young voter Madison Fleischer is still in high school (Madison Fleischer)

Young voter Madison Fleischer is still in high school (Madison Fleischer)

  • Age: 18
  • Lives: Surrey

My perspective on jobs and the economy: 

Prosperity stems from the hard work of ALL British Columbians all over the province – and government’s job is to make it easier, not harder, to thrive in our province.

The government’s duty to ensure that all British Columbians have the opportunity to prosper means the government should be saying yes to a growing economy and making sure every British Columbian shares in the benefits— and it seems like we’ve been consistently moving in that direction.

Key focuses moving forward will most definitely be strengthening and diversifying BC’s economy through saying “yes” on economic development, making sure the government spends within its means to keep taxes as low as possible, and equipping all British Columbians with the tools necessary to succeed in a rapidly changing economy.

Our province currently leads Canada in both job creation and economic growth and I believe the government should continue to expand this achievement in the coming years.

Katherine Dawn Fredette

Young voter Katherine Fredette (Katherine Fredette)

Young voter Katherine Fredette (Katherine Fredette)

  • Age: 19
  • Lives: Votes in the Coquitlam-Maillardville riding

My perspective on jobs and the economy:

I’m not making much above minimum wage, and if there was a higher minimum wage I would be able to move out and afford to eat.

This is also particularly important to me so my Mum [might] be able to find a job that can accommodate her disabilities and move back to the Lower Mainland.

I want a living wage of $15, and for legislation stating that minimum wage will be raised according to inflation every year.

Jake Friedrich

Young voter Jake Friedrich (Jake Friedrich)

Young voter Jake Friedrich (Jake Friedrich)

  • Age: 22
  • Lives: In North Vancouver

My perspective on jobs and the economy:

I work full time. And sometimes that’s not enough.  It would be wonderful for me to get a second job, even if it’s part time, but usually scheduling doesn’t line up, or exist at all. I don’t believe that if I were to quit my current job, I would find something else.

If it’s somewhat difficult for me to find a job (with post secondary education), I can’t imagine the struggle that others go through to find decent work.

Without people working, the economy takes a hit. People aren’t reinvesting the money they’ve earned in to the local economy if they aren’t working and making any money. It’s a simple cycle really, and the scarcity of ways to earn an income hurts that cycle.

I would love to see our government invest more in the local economy, whether it be incentives for certain businesses to promote ethical practices, for example, or providing grants to businesses so they can continue I operate in their communities. I’m not sure what’s going on now, so this could be happening already. But I have a feeling more can be done.


To find more guides to all the issues, interviews with the BC party leaders, and plenty of opinions, check out our full BC Election coverage here: Battleground BC.

See also

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DH Vancouver Staff
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