Photo via Sacred Heart High School

Sacred Heart students meet the candidates ahead of vote

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Carleton’s four federal election candidates visited Sacred Heart High School on Wednesday to present their platform and answer questions from students. Grade 12 student Connor Boudreau was there and wrote up this report, and shared some photos with us as well. This article is also being published on 960 News.)

The four candidates spent a half hour introducing themselves and presenting their party platforms before a half hour question period commenced. The event took place in the library and was organised by Sacred Heart teacher Roland Cardinal, as a tie-in to the student vote, a national program where students in high schools can cast votes in municipal, provincial and federal elections (the votes are intended for informational purposes and don’t actually count).

All the candidates were present by 9:30, the start of high school second period. Beforehand it was rumoured that Conservative candidate Pierre Poilievre would not be attending, but he arrived along with the other candidates before the event got underway. Seats were filled within a few minutes by students in grades nine and ten, leaving only standing room for grade eleven and twelves. With the library filled, the event commenced. Mr. Cardinal made some opening remarks before grade ten students Michaela and Amogh started inviting the candidates to make their opening remarks.

The candidates spoke in the following order: Kc Larocque – NDP, Chris Rodgers – Liberal, Deborah Coyne – Green, and last but not least Pierre Poilievre – Conservative.

Kc Larocque opened by saying that she grew up in a large tightknit family in Constance Bay and said she “was raised in the country and I still have a lot of country in me”. She also stated that former NDP leader Jack Layton was someone who inspired her and that she worked closely with him. She then went on to discuss the NDP plan before concluding “the NDP plan is reasonable and achievable”.

Next Chris Rodgers spoke. His introduction was quite extensive. He told the audience of his travels abroad and how that showed him that Canada was indeed “a great place”. He then spoke of Liberal ideology and how the country “lacks a vision for the future”. Rodgers then asked the student audience for a show of hands of how many of them could actually vote – only two raised their hands. He then said that even if a student couldn’t vote, there were other ways that they could get involved in politics. His main point was that the students should help remind other people to vote via their smartphones. He concluded by saying “I’m a Liberal and that means that we believe when we all participate in public life we make better decisions together”.

Following Rodgers, was Deborah Coyne. She spoke of how she grew up during the Cold War, the Cuban missile crisis and the Kennedy assassinations, all while under the threat of nuclear holocaust. She then transitioned into climate change and how people should consider the Green Party. She stated her party platform and talked about “the big bad Conservatives” before concluding by saying “With the Green Party I find a party that’s refreshing and has principles and I hope you visit our website”.

Then Pierre Poilievre spoke. Poilievre reminisced how he missed voting his first election by three days as he was not yet 18. He then stated “I’m a Conservative because I believe that government should do a few things right rather than doing a lot of things poorly”. He then talked about Conservative party policy, particularly tax cuts. Poilievre concluded by saying “That’s why our party is so determined to keep our budget balanced, keep our taxes low and keep our economy moving forward”.

With the introductions going over a half hour, question period commenced. Students asked the candidates questions ranging from the threat posed by ISIL, to climate change, to military salaries and benefits. All four candidates responded to each question in turn. Deborah Coyne was particularly vocal during this period and sharply criticized the conservatives on all subjects.

After the question period ended, students were dismissed for lunch, however some stayed behind to ask the candidates questions.

Pierre Poilievre at the Sacred Heart High School federal candidate event. Photo by Connor Boudreau.
Pierre Poilievre
Chris Rodgers and Pierre Poilievre at the Sacred Heart High School federal candidate event. Photo by Connor Boudreau.
Chris Rodgers and Pierre Poilievre

Candidates chat with students at the Sacred Heart High School federal candidate event. Photo by Connor Boudreau.

Deborah Coyne at the Sacred Heart High School federal candidate event. Photo by Connor Boudreau.
Deborah Coyne
Chris Rodgers at the Sacred Heart High School federal candidate event. Photo by Connor Boudreau.
Chris Rodgers
Kc Larocque at the Sacred Heart High School federal candidate event. Photo by Connor Boudreau.
Kc Larocque

 


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2 thoughts on “Sacred Heart students meet the candidates ahead of vote”

  1. What an excellent idea to have the candidates come to the high schools. Even though the majority of students are not eligible to vote …the successful candidate will probably still be in their position when the student does come of age. A super learning experience to prepare them on what to look for in a candidate when it is time to vote. They might also learn that the more a political party promises, the less money the young person will take home from their first jobs. They will learn that all the good things a political candidate offers is not free…you are merely deciding what you want to pay into when you put your mark on the ballot. I don’t remember the candidates visiting my high school.

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