Students at the Williams Lake Campus of Lake City Secondary will have the opportunity to meet federal candidates on Oct. 16 at 12:20 p.m. when the school hosts an all-candidates forum.
“The format will be similar to any other forum,” said teacher Shannon Rerie. ” The candidates will be given some time to present their platforms, then the moderator will have questions for them to discuss, before we open it to the floor for questions if there is time.”
Rerie said she has been involved in Student Vote in Williams Lake for about 12 years.
“I think it’s so important for the students to get some exposure to politics; Federally, Provincially and locally,” she said. “It helps demystify the whole process as well for when they are of legal voting age, which some of our Grade 12s are already.”
With talk of lowering the voting age, Rerie said she thinks it becomes even more important to open up the experience for students.
“Historically the students all seem to follow a fairly left wing bent with their voting, and our voting turnout is on par with the national average.”
This year, Rerie is hoping voter turnout will see an increase through a few methods — “the big one of course being educating them and promoting it among themselves.”
Her students have been following the debates, and have completed the youth vote compass online to see where they fall on the political spectrum.
Another aspect to this year’s Student Vote, which Rerie said they have not historically done much work around, is media literacy and understanding where students are getting information from so that they can better decipher fake news from real news.
“This has been eye opening for some of them for sure,” she said.
The student vote will run all day in the library on the Oct. 17, she added.
On Wednesday, Oct. 16, the Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce is also hosting an all-candidates meet and greet at the Tourism Discovery Centre from 5 to 8 p.m.