Editor's Note: For the 2019 federal election, TimminsToday teamed up with a journalism student to provide extra coverage on important issues.
The interviews conducted during this Q and A series were done by Dana Simpson from Algonquin College in Ottawa. The issues and topics of discussion focused mainly on youth and young adults in Canada and the Timmins-James Bay riding. The answers have been edited for length and clarity.
What do you intend to do to help youth in your community get access to jobs?
NDP Charlie Angus
We have the opportunity in the north for a real strong economy. In order to help the youth population, when it comes to student debt we are looking into immediately ending interest on student loans. We plan to implement affordable education and a retention program for trained and educated young people to get jobs and stay in their communities after graduation.
Liberal Michelle Boileau
I sit on the employers council here in Timmins and I know that there are jobs available – employers are just having a hard time finding the people to fill those positions, finding the people with the right skills. It really comes down to having the education and training needed to align our workforce with the jobs that are in demand in the region. So definitely promoting the trades and other professions that are in demand here in the region and will continue to be with our high retirement rates we will have huge gaps here in our workforce in the next few decades so we want to make sure that our youth here have access to training in their communities without having to leave the region so that they could transition easily from high school to their training then into a job.
Conservative Kraymr GrenkeIn the north we have a dwindling population and we are going to have a labour shortage. We do have the job capacity but we want to make sure that people are training for those jobs and that’s where we want to work with Collège Boréal, Université de Hearst, and Northern College students to make sure they have the skill sets necessary to be in the workforce and not be a burden on their life to take time out to go back to school as the job market changes. For young people to have the complete package in our riding is the goal.
Green Max Kennedy
The guaranteed low income would allow students the ability to go to school and not worry about whether the bills are going to be paid. On top of that we’re looking at free tuition and we’re looking to forgive the federal portion of student debt which will take a tremendous financial burden off of them. Another thing we’re looking at and it’s forecast to create as many as two million new jobs in getting away from fossil fuels and in getting into the clean energy sector.
PPC Renaud Roy
We need to encourage greater cooperation between the business community and the local schools.
Other topics in the Q&A series are: access to healthy food, youth homelessness, better support for mental health and substance abuse issues, how to make students feel safer, support for LGBTQ+ youth, and support for the local ecosystem.
The federal election is Oct. 21. More local coverage is available here.