Senior News Reporter
A mayor’s debate at Lakeshore Campus became a one-man show when Rob Ford and George Smitherman decided to give students the brush-off.
Students and Ward 6 residents gathered at Humber’s Lakeshore campus Thursday Oct. 14 to promote youth political awareness. Toronto mayoralty contender Joe Pantalone was the only candidate to show up.
“It’s a youth speak-out organized in association with the South Etobicoke Youth Association (SEYA),” said SEYA director Amber Morley.
Some students were upset Ford and Smitherman did not show up for the planned debate .
“It’s a real shame the other candidates decided not to come,” said Ron Mandelman, a member of Humber’s Youth Political Action Group. “They’re either underestimating the students or they believe their priorities lie elsewhere.”
Pantalone said young people should treat the community as they would their homes, and warned them not to think that the issues at hand do not affect them.
“It affects you directly. “What are the issues that concern you that I can hear about, and what are the facts I can relay to you,” said Pantalone. “This interchange is mutually beneficial.”
The one message that did come through from the event was quite simple.
“Vote, vote, vote,” said Morley. “Young people’s voices are important…the more we get involved , the more we vote, the more they’re accountable to us.”
Pantalone added that it is important for young people to vote.
“Get involved, find out, because it’s your city more than anything else,” said Pantalone. “If anyone has a higher stake, it’s a younger person.”