The upcoming federal elections are happening soon on Monday, October 21. Lawn signs showing support for local would-be-MPs have been popping up on lawns and front yards across Canada. While British Columbians prepare to go to the polls, Narcity spoke to Vancouverites on the federal election to find out what really matters to them in the upcoming election.
In this interview series, Narcity asked Vancouverites what they would like to ask the candidates who would be Canada's next Prime Minister. We also found out what the most important issues were to them in this upcoming election. Plus, we wanted to know what their hopes were for what the next leader would achieve during their term.
It was no surprise that climate change and housing affordability were high priorities amongst the interviewees as important issues that they want the next prime minister of Canada to tackle. Vancouver is a notoriously expensive city, so livability is a hot topic.
Climate change has become an activist movement, especially amongst millennials in Vancouver. In Vancouver, locals saw massive climate rallies taking place inspired in part by Greta Thunberg’s global climate movement to urge world leaders to take immediate and effective action for climate change.
Here's what's on the minds of seven Vancouverites heading into the election and what they want to say to our next Prime Minister in their own words:
Take A Focused Approach To Climate Change
Gagan Sidhu, 31, Yaletown, BC. Sustainability Advisor.
"The candidates are coming from a point of view where people have not experienced issues themselves — like you can't speak about someone trying to survive if you are born into wealth. You need to take that perspective from someone who has been through that. We need a focused approach on climate change, and how to tackle that for the generation who is living, who are 30 now and would be probably 70 when this climate change thing really comes down."
Keep Your Political Promises
Natalie Wong, 26, Kitsilano, BC. Brand Ambassador.
"I would say the environment. I feel like as long as we all unite on somebody and even if, we want something done and none of the people are promising to do it, if there [are] enough people who say 'Hey, we all put you into power, we can take you out, you better do this' that's my mindset. That's how I think democracy should be working."
Don't Hide Behind Political Curtains
Tyler Davis, 25, Yaletown, BC. Building Analyst.
"I think that climate change should be the main issue over the next election because it's an issue that affects everybody equally. In regards to debates, I feel like most candidates will have prepared answers and will say whatever voters want to hear. What I want is a candidate who's honest and is willing to say the truth and admit their faults when they make mistakes, or at least explain their decisions and not hide behind curtains until they're discovered. Unfortunately, I don't see that with any candidates that we currently have. I would like honesty from the next prime minister and all other elected MPs, because that's going to kind of restore faith in our political system."
Housing In Vancouver Is A Major Problem
Tiffany Chang, 30, South Burnaby, BC. Receptionist.
"I'm most concerned about two major ones. Housing in the Vancouver area, and climate change. Climate change, mostly because we live on the planet, obviously, and we need to take care of it before things get any worse. If I could have anything from the next prime minister, it would be for them to keep their promises, and actually do the things that they said that they're going to do. And just make us proud to have elected that person as our next prime minister."
Make Housing Affordable For My Kids
Sonia Busch, 47, Port Coquitlam, BC. Education Assistant.
"I have two young kids and a husband. So for me, the most important thing is housing affordability. I want my kids to be able to afford to buy something, a condo or a house. Right now we're not able to buy it because it's so expensive. I think Trudeau is pretty honest, but I'm not too sure, you know, I mean people say stuff, but they don't do it. So I don't know what the reality is, but I'm hoping that Trudeau will continue being honest to Canadians."
Improve Public Transportation And Sustainability
Philip Pol, 26, Point Grey, BC. Programmer.
"The issue that I care about the most is public transportation. It's important to me because I think it's really good for sustainability and the environment in the sense of, we don't need more cars or more highways, we need to be moving people instead. Political candidates are going to be saying whatever they want to say to get a vote. But I could care less about that. When it really comes down to it, it's not just about that one person. It's a group decision. It's right across Canada. So it doesn't really matter what they say."
Fix Corruption In Political Parties
Cherie Zamani, 45, Coal Harbour, BC. Registered Nurse.
"I think Canada is changing. The Canada that I know probably 20 years ago is not there anymore and it's changing a lot. I see lots of corruption and lots of things that people don't want in this city. So for me, I really don't know who can I trust enough to vote as Prime Minister. NDP was always my favourite. But this time I'm not sure because it looks like they just want peoples' votes."
*All interviews have been condensed and edited for clarity.