AMS, GSS ready voting campaigns, student priorities for October 24 BC election

Student societies are preparing for the snap provincial election this fall.

BC NDP Leader John Horgan announced today that the election date has been set for October 24, 2020 to criticism over holding an election amid a pandemic. Before the announcement, BC’s 42nd general election was set to take place in or before October 2021.

The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated many of the issues students face, including housing, food insecurity and financial instability. AMS President Cole Evans said an equitable recovery from the pandemic is also front of mind.

“We expect that student voices are going to be louder than ever,” he said.

Evans said this will be an opportunity to make student needs known at the provincial level. GSS VP External Alireza Kamyabi named affordability, climate change and addressing social inequalities as some potential student priorities for the election.

The election comes after student protests for climate justice and Indigenous sovereignty over the last year.

Kamyabi said that the GSS’s main priority is to allow students to “take part in the election in a safe manner.”

The AMS and GSS have partnered with the BC Federation of Students and the Alliance of BC Students to hold a ‘Get Out the Vote’ campaign, set to launch “essentially immediately.”

“At the end of the day we’re confident that students really do have the ability to be a major influencer in the results of this upcoming election,” said Evans.

Kamyabi added that the GSS is exploring a potential candidates debate for the Vancouver-Point Grey riding, and will be postering around campus and engaging with students online to make sure they know how to vote.

“I think there’s a lot at stake here so I'm really hoping to see more younger [people] turn out, this election,” Kamyabi said.