Volume 94, Issue 48

Thursday, November 23, 2000


Operation Massive loses over $30,000

Student gets promoted As PM

Affiliates looking for piece of pie

Layman House closes

Remembrance Day bill introduced in Ontario

Fantino asks for less cell phone use

London North Centre candidates get candid - contenders answer light-hearted questions

Student gets promoted As PM

By Anne Sagar
Gazette Staff

A University of Toronto student may have a leg up on the 2004 Federal Election, if his victory in the "As Prime Minister I Would" essay contest is any indication.

Richard Meloff, a masters student at the University of Toronto, has been declared the winner of the contest which asked young Canadians to pen their thoughts on how to improve the country in a 2,500 word essay.

Meloff's victory has netted him total winnings of over $56,000, according to Joan Crocker, a spokesperson for the Magna for Canada Scholarship fund, the company who furnished prizes for the contest.

Meloff said he felt power should be downloaded from government and given back to individuals and people should be able to keep much of their resources.

He said his plan for Canada included reducing taxes for individuals and corporations, which would reduce the amount of money available for social programs. Privatization of the pension plan and a new approach to health care make up the bulk of the essay, he said.

"Most people do not spend a lot on health care in a year," Meloff said. "I would like to tell students [they] can not afford not to participate. If you have 20 hours to spare – why not send in an essay."

The As Prime Minister Awards program was developed in 1995 to empower young Canadians, Crocker said, adding she felt it isnecessary to explore the minds of young Canadians whose ideas are well worth listening to. "It's important that Canada be seen as important country. If we didn't start embodying our culture we might be left behind," she said.

"The contest aims to inspire debate among students" said Joan Crockatt, director of editorial for Southam and Hollinger Newspapers and a judge in the competition.

The judges' decision was based on the essay and an oral presentation Crockatt said. "We are looking for passionate young people, who have a commitment to programs and some vision," she said.

Prabu Hariharan and Ray Novak, a Western student and alumnus, respectively, were among 11 semi-finalists in the contest.

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