The SNC-Lavalin affair appears not to be a focus for young voters heading into the federal election, experts say.
Instead, to get the vote of Canadians 18 to 34 years old, politicians need to focus on two key issues: climate change and affordability.
“SNC doesn’t really matter to the young Canadians we’ve spoken to,” said Aaron Myran, director of Future Majority, a non-partisan organization that aims to unite the voices of youth across Canada and change the political landscape.
They’ve talked to thousands of youth across the country about what they care about — and it’s not “politicking back and forth.”
“It’s issues like how are they going to pay for rent if they have a gig job that doesn’t have benefits. If they don’t want to live in a city, how are they going to find a job in their community that has a career trajectory?” Myran said.
“And what are we going to do about the climate crisis? How is it going to affect Canada?”
An Ipsos poll conducted just after the SNC-Lavalin ethics review last week found that while Liberals and Conservatives are in a “dead heat” overall — with 33 and 35 per cent of support, respectively — the Liberals remain more popular with young voters.
Thirty-five per cent would vote Liberal, compared to 27 per cent Conservative and 22 per cent for the NDP. The majority of voters between ages 35 and 54 are split between Liberals and Conservatives, and voters aged 55 and older are most likely to vote Conservative.
Millennials make up the largest voting bloc in the upcoming federal election and, like in 2015, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will need their vote. The challenge this time, however, is that he’s moved from sunny ways to ethics breaches, said Ipsos Canada president Mike Colledge.
“One of the worries for the Liberal government is we had an increase in voter turnout last time, particularly among young people, and a lot of that was for hope, optimism, a new way of doing things,” he said.
“What remains to be seen is does the discussion of SNC ethics and really old school politics throw a wet blanket on some of that?”
The Ipsos poll was conducted online between Aug. 16 and 19 and is accurate within ± 3.5 percentage points 19 times out of 20.
CORRECTION: This story originally misspelled Aaron Myran’s name. It has been updated with the correct spelling.
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