Ahead of the BC election, Daily Hive is profiling young voters from across the province. Want to join in and share your thoughts? Email [email protected], subject line: My Future.
Who are you?
How old are you?
What do you do?
I work in non-profit managing programs.
Where do you live?
Kensington neighbourhood, Vancouver.
Have you voted before?
This will be my first BC provincial election, but I voted in my previous province’s provincial election.
Do you plan on voting this time?
Does your family influence how you vote?
No. We talk about politics a lot and they got us voting young, but they always want us to decide for ourselves how we vote.
How closely do you follow BC politics?
I’m very interested in politics and have been trying to educate myself, but there doesn’t seem to be much independent information online for the provincial election. You have to wade through each party’s page. It’s frustrating. I wish there was one place (that was easy to find) where you could see an unbiased comparison of the parties’ provincial platforms and candidates. The Elections BC site should provide more to help young voters learn about the platforms and candidates.
Do you know who your local candidates are?
I moved to BC three years ago, so I don’t know a lot about the local parties.
Would you ever consider running for office?
Possibly. I care a lot about politics and feel it greatly shapes our lives. I don’t think I’d be swayed by money or self-interested parties. I feel my international experience gives me a diverse view of issues. It would mean a lot to affect the way we live for the better. What may prevent me is the way politicians are personally dragged through the mud these days. I’m all up for scrutiny, but it has gotten very personal and disrespectful, among the public and in the House and election ads. It’s almost less about issues and more about smearing now. I’m not sure if I want to be part of that.
What issues do you care most about?
Affordability and housing
I think this is a huge issue in Vancouver particularly. It’s hard to see yourself doing pretty well at 31 with a decent job and education, but still in group living like a student. I can’t even dream of owning a home. Every day I choose between comfortable living or managing to save a tiny bit. Can’t have both here. I get scared for our future, no equity, retirement, etc. Moving is severely stress-inducing too, with the poor rental market.
[This is all] adding stress and travel time to many [people’s days], and usually the poor the most. People who are already well off gain the benefits of shorter commutes or not worrying about noisy shared living. They feel better, can work harder and move up.. while it’s the opposite for those already struggling. Also, it’s preventing young families from starting here. It’s going to cause big problems down the road, both with greater inequality and changing the fabric of our city.
I’m pleased about the foreign ownership tax and that the idea is to tax empty units. I know not everyone agrees, but homes need to be for people to live here, first and foremost. I also think limits to rent raising need to be seriously watched. The majority of new builds should be affordable. The laneway house program should be continued.
It’s what sustains us, everyone. Our government is basically selling it off to the highest bidder for short term monetary gains to the few. It’s worth a lot more than that, and we all have to pay with our health for their gains. Also, in BC specifically, I feel sickened by the way we trample on First Nations rights in environmental decisions. I think our government should be respecting them, but they don’t at all. After all that has happened in Canada’s past, haven’t we become better than that by now? Apparently not.
I want to see us move towards living in equilibrium with the environment. It affects all of us. Personally, I have seen how changing weather patterns are affecting people in some developing nations. With changing weather patterns, harvests are shrinking and it gets worse each year. It’s life or death. Every day we are contributing to that and it rips me apart. We don’t see it the same way here, but that doesn’t make us any less responsible.
Stop developing dirty energy now. No more pipelines, no LNG. Change takes time. We need a 20-year-plan to reduce oil to a minimal level, but that needs to start now. Which means using the infrastructure we have for extraction while heavily investing in clean tech, then slowly switching. Jobs cannot be an excuse, they will come with clean tech and we should have retraining programs as they do.
I’m very upset by the carbon tax if it falls on citizens at this point. Before doing that, the government has to provide us with equally affordable clean alternatives. They can’t just keep handing the environment over to big industry, then expect citizens to foot the tax so they can sound like they’re doing something for the environment when they haven’t. When I can buy an electric car for the same price as a gas one (and charge it as easily), only then should I have to pay a tax for choosing a gas car. Or, when we can make payments on solar installs for the same price as hydro.
The government must invest in these first otherwise the carbon tax becomes a poor tax, because the rich can choose to buy clean and the poor can’t. Until then, tax the ones making the big bucks off dirtying up our land.
Are you a young British Columbian and eligible to vote in the BC election? We would love to profile you. Email [email protected], subject line: My Future, to find out more.
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