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Interview with Matthew Rowlinson, NDP candidate for London West

Written by Michael Hurley
Thursday, 15 October 2015
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In our third and final interview for the 2015 Federal Election – part of a series of interviews Think Forward has conducted with MPs and candidates heading into Election Day – Think Forward Managing Editor Michael Hurley recently spoke to Matthew Rowlinson, the NDP candidate for London West.

Michael asked Mr. Rowlinson about a number of challenges facing young voters today, the race in London West, and some of the key issues that have emerged in the final days of the election campaign.  

The following is a transcript of the phone interview that Michael conducted with Mr. Rowlinson on October 14th.

Michael Hurley: A major goal of Think Forward is to generate interest in politics among youth by engaging young people on social and political issues that matter to them.

With the federal election just days away, I want to talk about the challenges that students, recent graduates, and young professionals are facing right now, and explore whether and how your party plans to address these issues if it forms government.

Matthew Rowlinson: Absolutely, I'm delighted to engage on this topic. It's really important to get young people more engaged in politics than they have been in the past. As you probably know, young people in Canada have historically voted at lower rates than the rest of the population.

I teach at Western (University) and I will say that I'm encouraged to see that Elections Canada has set up satellite polls on campus in this election, and this has allowed students at Western to not only vote on campus but also register their votes in their home riding.

There were lineups with hundreds of students ready to vote, so I'm very optimistic about young voter turnout in this election, I have to say.

Hurley: Yes, and I do want to ask you more about that in just a few minutes, but first I'd like to talk about rising tuition fees and growing student in Canada. 

Two major concerns for today's students are the skyrocketing tuition fees that they have to pay when working their way through school, and the crushing debt that they face once they graduate.

Simply put, many young Canadians are struggling to get ahead because they can’t afford the rising cost of education.

Average tuition fees are increasing at three times the rate of inflation, and as a result, the typical graduate now has more than $26,000 in student debt. 

How will the NDP make college and university more affordable for students, and what is your party’s plan for reducing student debt in Canada?



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