🔴Terry Beech, Liberal
🔶Svend Robinson, NDP
🌲Amita Kuttner, Green
Conservative Heather Leung did not respond to "repeated" invites, organizers say
In TA union, they fought for rights, diversity and women in science. Kuttner says they experience science and politics very differently as a non-binary POC.
"Student issues are also human issues," he says:
Climate, tuition, inequality, housing, TMX.
My entire life has focused on education and entrepreneurship, he says.
He highlights Liberal policies on environment, economy, increase in student grants.
Q to all: Students pay far more in tuition, books, housing than decades ago. What can the feds do?
Why not Canada? Tuition must be free in Canada, they say. If we want to say we're a progressive nation, we need equal access to education, they say.
Robinson says NDP will eliminate interest on federal portion of student loans. Affordability for students means housing too, he says.
Free tuition sounds good, but there are downsides.
Student debt will be interest-free if you have a child. Libs will increase grants.
Free tuition doesn't have to mean taking revenue from other spending areas.
Liberals have put $10 billion in scientific research. We're investing heavily and will continue to.
How do we ensure people have housing and ability to come here? We can demonstrate global solidarity, int'l students make a huge contribution.
Education is fundamental globally, not just in Canada.
We have a national housing strategy and reducing cell bills.
You can't reduce int'l student tuition and maintain this system. It subsidizes education for everyone.
(ooooo big double name drop)
Wealth tax on estates of more than $20M. PBO said it would raise more than $70B over 10 years. That could fund free tuition. Not going to happen overnight but it's a critical goal.
We need to stop fossil fuel subsidies. Steepening marginal tax rates, capital gains tax and more will give us money to "invest in our own people."
Stress test has leveled housing costs.
(Lists more housing initiatives I didn't catch.)
Pharmacare, transit, childcare will make life more affordable.
Housing is a human right.
We will build affordable units and refurbish existing units.
We young people know we won't own. "We're ready for social housing."
Private sector has failed to build affordable housing.
Oh god. Svend is reading my story as a prop.
Kuttner says this hass been their life for the lasst five years, studying in California. "You're treated as some interim person" between child and adult as a student.
We need a living wage for everyone, including grad students
We're investing in housing, childcare, etc.
Points to Lib investment in Stemcell, which provides six-figure jobs on the SkyTrain line.
Childcare is important too. NDP have $10B program over four years for $10/day daycare.
Many grad students are single-parent families living in poverty.
Kuttner says they agree with that.
Beech: Our govt has taken more action on cc than any gov't in the country's history. It's a world leader. Price on pollution. phasing out coal. banning plastics. EVs. Oceans Protection Plan. 25% of land/water will b protected
Canada needs a Green New Deal.
Beech and Libs said TMX wouldn't go ahead without community support or w/ Harper approval system. They lied.
We're listening to Greta Thunberg now but have been ignoring Indigenous people for decades. (Big applause for this line.)
Beech: My first job is to represent constituents. I have done that every. single. day.
I have been a critic of TMX from the start. NDP didn't attend hearings. I can represent people concerned about the pipeline in caucus.
Don't listen to the people promising to be the most angry on the issue. I will be the most effective.
Robinson: NDP will not support gov't in a minority parliament if it supports TMX.
Green New Deal is exciting. We can work with workers during transition.
If we go too hard too fast, we get a situation like the US where they're saying "make coal great again."
We need to work within the system we have.
Canadian GND is built for us.
People say our plans aren't doable when they're necessary. We need a new framework.
...remember this? He wants to replace the tanks with condos.
Q to candidates: Will you support it?
Beech I support it contingent on community support.
Robinson: In principle, I support contingent on concerns.
WOW WE ALL AGREE
Beech says he didn't expect to become a pipeline expert. Kind of hints he's against it.
Kuttner says GMO and nuclear aren't good enough in Green platform.
We have to be clearer in recognizing rights of UNDRIP.
Robinson: We must implement all TRC and MMIWG recommendations. We must accept it's a genocide.
We have to respond meaningfully.
Feds shouldn't fight Cindy Blackstock in court. Must end boil water advisories.
Must implement TRC and MMWIG recommendations and TRC -- but that's not enough.
Kuttner ends with an emotional moment: "Our promises have always been empty and they need to stop."
We are committed to UNDRIP. We passed it but it died int he senate. This is why we can't let Scheer appoint the next generation of senators.
I have a great relationship with the Tsleil-waututh nation. They're "doing incredibly well."
I thanked the nation for TMX court challenge.
I'm very much for crying in politics. It's serious stuff.
Kuttner: Greens will implement guaranteed livable income and safe transportation in rural areas.
First, we need to acknowledge genocide and our part in it.
There's a Maslow Hierarchy of Needs.
Some FNs are living in third-world conditions. We need to invest in these communities. We are doing it.
We need to address the over-representation of Indigenous people in prison. "It's shameful."
We need restorative justice.
Robinson: We are committed to ER. In minority parliament, NDP will make ER an issue. Liberals betrayed their promise to change electoral system.
NDP are committed to MMP.
Greens would implement at citizens assembly to find the right electoral system.
We are skeptical of party control of candidates.
I think I would be elected under MMP.
The committee came up with an unworkable system.
Robinson: NDP slate is over 27% POC. Greens have lowest rate of representation, lower than PPC.
Greens are in the mushy middle. We need to be progressive.
I'm not a fan of the "not left, not right" Green slogan. But I found a home with the Greens because they allow me to vote freely.
"It's so strange to have three progressives up here" and not Conservatives to rep other side.
Liberals get the balance right between progressive and economic priorities.
Kuttner: "It's terrifying... it's terrible"
They don't address climate change. If elected, they would eliminate my rights.
It's a myth that CPC is fiscally responsible.
Progressive people won't help you. Only a progressive gov't can.
She's said homophobic stuff, supported conversion therapy, supports abortion if in cases of rape, opposed assisted suicide. How can Scheer support her if he cares about LGBT rights?
Beech: We're looking at ways of dealing with contracts made by CPC gov't.
Robinson: SA murdered Jamal Khasogi and waging a war in Yemen. We can't sell weapons to the SA govt. "It's outrageous."
A few hundred young people came out to listen and participate. All in all, a good day for democracy.