By Jessica Cosentino
You could lose your right to vote.
Students who didn’t vote in the last municipal election, or have just moves to Metro Toronto, may not be eligible to vote in the Megacity referendum on March 3. In other words, anyone under 21 years of age or has moved to the city since 1994, is not on a current voter’s list and will have to self-enumerate.
“It is very crucial for your voices to be heard because you have to be heard because you have the opportunity to vote,” says Ange Valentini, a former Ryerson continuing education student and spokesperson for Young Citizens for Local Democracy (YC4LD).
Bill 103, recently announced by the provincial government, will replace the seven elected municipal councils — Toronto, North York, East York, Etobicoke, York and Scarborough — with appointed trustees, and create one new city government.
The Tories feel it will promote efficiency, stop duplication of services and save money.
YC4LD have a different view. This autonomous group of high school, university and college students feels the megacity “will suspend the right to participate in decisions about social services in communities,” says Valentini. A megacity may result in user fees for libraries, less maintenance for roads and parks and less funding for community-based support programs.
Ed Keenan, a representative of YC4LD, said, “considering the dramatic changes that are being proposed to the way we are governed in this province, I think it is vital for young people to speak out.”
Depending on the region, the way to self-enumerate varies. Each city council has outlined the procedure and options students have if they choose to vote. Call the Revisions office in your area for more details.