NDP MPP incumbent says student vote will be particularly important in tight race

Catherine Fife, MPP NDP incumbent, acknowledged that in a tight race, the student vote will be particularly important in determining the candidate who wins the riding of Kitchener-Waterloo while campaigning with NDP leader Andrea Horwath in Kitchener yesterday. With a high local student population, student issues, such as tuition, OSAP loans, and youth unemployment will be at the forefront during the campaign.

“We [NDP] fought the Liberals to implement the youth employment strategy, it’s a full-time job fighting and making sure the Liberals do what they say they’re going to do,” Fife said. “We are the only party that’s holding the line on tuition, and we’ve pushed that every single day, and you saw in this budget they just did not listen. It is not a budget that can be supported because it is not in favour or support of future generations, with Ontario having the highest youth unemployment rate in Canada.”

She added, “Concerns students have are class sizes, quality of the instruction, the rising cost of tuition, but ultimately where are those jobs after university?”

Horwath rolled into Kitchener’s Café Pyrus, across the street from St. Charles Street bus terminal, in her big orange bus to kick off day one of the Ontario provincial election campaign Wednesday.

She was met by approximately 60 enthusiastic supporters in the small café, with a frenzy of media waiting for the leader to arrive.

She was joined by Fife, and NDP Kitchener-Centre riding candidate Margaret Johnson in an attempt to rally support for both candidates. The fact Horwath decided to visit this riding on the first day of the campaign trail illustrates how significant these contested seats are.

Recent polls, reported by <em>CTV News</em>, suggest that all ridings in the KW region, particularly the Kitchener-Waterloo riding where Fife is the incumbent, is too close to call, with all three candidates in a virtual three-way tie.

With the stakes at an all-time high, particularly for Andrea Horwath and the NDP, who have received significant criticism from both the media and the public for rejecting a perceived &ldquo;NDP friendly budget,&rdquo; the leader wasted no time in defending her party&rsquo;s decision to reject the budget, while taking stabs at both Wynne and Hudak.

&nbsp;&ldquo;This budget was a mad dash in an attempt to escape scandal by promising the moon and the stars,&rdquo; Horwath said. &ldquo;Kathleen Wynne wasted a billion dollars cancelling private power plants playing politics. In fact, she personally signed off on it. The Liberals deserve some time in the penalty box.&rdquo;

Horwath added that the Conservatives are &ldquo;far more interested in helping themselves than helping middle class families.&rdquo;

This is why Catherine Fife &ldquo;makes sense,&rdquo; Horwath said using the NDP campaign slogan.

When <em>Imprint</em> asked whether or not an NDP government would support initiatives such as the $25 million investments to the IQC, Horwath said, &ldquo;with Catherine Fife and Margaret Johnson in this region we&rsquo;re very well aware, I&rsquo;ve actually toured the facility [IQC] myself, I see what kind of amazing work they&rsquo;re doing there and the potential there [IQC] is significant. So we&rsquo;re looking forward to rolling out our plans over the next little while.&rdquo;


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