Halifax

Halifax is home

All of these students, so little voters

Halifax is home photo by : Patrick Fulgencio
written by Rachel Collier
October 7, 2016 4:01 pm

We take our East Coast Lifestyle sweatshirts home over our school breaks, but will we vote in the Halifax municipal election this October?

As an undergrad student, I’ll traipse around the city of Halifax for my fourth consecutive year.

I’ll complain about the city buses if they’re late or inconsistent. I’ll enjoy a cup of coffee at the top of one of the world’s most beautiful libraries. I’ll take in deep breaths of air at Point Pleasant Park. I’ll hope that the air is fresh and naturally salty – not infused with the stench of a polluted harbour.

I’ll hope that if I’m ever sexually assaulted or get into trouble in any way, police will handle my case with care and fairness. I’ll deal with housing prices, and landlords who can decide to raise rent as much as they want as long as they give a few months’ notice. I’ll hope that my garbage gets removed and dealt with in the most environmentally friendly way possible.

I’ll hope that our government supports the organizations that I care about. I’ll hope that barriers for all types of people with varying abilities are torn down. I’ll hope that culturally innovative and supportive hubs, like the Khyber are protected. I’ll hope that my neighbours all around Halifax are healthy, happy, safe and equally represented in government.

I’ll appreciate, hope for, or at least deal with all of these things. But in the end, will I engage with the institution that has significant power to shape the reality of all these topics? Will I vote in the municipal election?

If I act like a typical student, history predicts that I won’t vote in this election. 35,000 post secondary students are studying in Halifax Regional municipality this year. That’s a lot of votes.

As an Islander (someone from PEI), the part of the East Coast lifestyle that I’m most proud of is strong, open and supportive communities. For the sake of the Halifax communities who have made me happy to call Halifax my second home, and to support equal representation of Halifax’s diversity in government – WE SHOULD ALL VOTE this October.

If we vote strategically, maybe someday we’ll be as proud of Halifax City Council and its actions as we are of our East Coast Lifestyle sweatshirts and tees.

Advanced polling for the municipal election begins on Oct. 8. Election day is Oct. 15. Not sure if you’re eligible to vote? Call (902) 490-8683.