September 18, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 12  

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Candidates' campus campaigning continues

By Marshall Bellamy
Gazette Staff

Dan Perry/Gazette
CAN YOU BELIEVE RYAN MALCOLM IS THE CANADIAN IDOL? Liberal candidate for London North Centre, Deb Matthews (right), chats it up with Sandra Hickey (left) and Sandra Yoon (centre), both second-year ACS students.

As students passed to and fro during Clubs Week, London North Centre New Democratic Party candidate Rebecca Coulter and Liberal candidate Deb Matthews each made a campaign stop at Western.

Coulter stopped by Clubs Week tables early yesterday morning. "I came by to meet the young New Democrats that are signing up," she explained, noting only the NDP were going to make tuition rollbacks.

Coulter added she had attended a protest with the Ontario Health Coalition at University Hospital against the privatization of hydro and health care in Ontario. She said she also planned to take part in a press conference yesterday afternoon dealing with public auto insurance to offer savings for Ontario motorists.

Coulter said she is looking forward to the on campus all-candidates debate on Sep. 24 with a great deal of anticipation.

During her visit, Matthews pointed out various problems in the post-secondary policy of the current Progressive Conservative government, adding the Liberal Party is concerned with accessibility to Ontario's post-secondary system.

"We need a change in government," Matthews asserted, adding if elected, the Liberals intend to freeze tuition, reform the Ontario Student Assistance Program and increase funding to the Ontario Graduate Scholarships.

According to Matthews, the only tuition fee reduction the Liberals are planning will affect the bottom 10 per cent of low income families.

"[I'm] from out of province [where] tuition is $3,000 in British Columbia, so lowering it sounds good," said second-year administration and commercial studies student Brent Robinson.

Matthews touched on the hydro issue by stating the provincial government should retain the power grid and import energy from Manitoba and Quebec, as opposed to relying on the United States for hydro power.

Mike Davidson, computer science lecturer at Western and candidate in the riding of London-Fanshawe for the Freedom Party, was present for Matthews' appearance at the University Community Centre.

Davidson pointed out the Freedom Party is concerned with offering Ontario voters choices between private and public services in education and health care.

"Monopolies are perceived as evil because they often offer poor service at a high cost," Davidson stated, noting the health care system is a prime example of this issue. "You can put all the money you want into a broken machine and it won't work," he added.

"[Matthews] came to campus to say that voters have the opportunity to fire Dianne Cunningham," said Matt Lerner, riding liaison of the Young Liberal Association at Western.

-with files from
Emmett Macfarlane and Dan Perry



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