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250 people at ‘go vote’ town hall in Saskatoon

Maude Barlow in Saskatoon

About 250 people attended our election town hall in Saskatoon this evening.

It follows the forums we held with 230 people in Vancouver (on April 30), 150 people in Ottawa (May 7) and 200 people in Winnipeg (May 12).

The speakers featured this evening were Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow, Canadian Union of Public Employees president Paul Moist, University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union president Jack Saddleback, Directors Guild of Canada national directors division chair Rob King and Rock the Vote in Saskatchewan founder Zoey Pricelys Roy.

Saskatoon drummers

The evening was moderated by Amanda Guthrie and it began with a territorial welcome by Idle No More co-founder Sylvia McAdam and Indigenous traditional drummers.

Tweets by Council of Canadians organizer Chris Gallaway, democracy campaigner Dylan Penner, Board member Tracey Mitchell, CUPE activist Tria Donaldson and others tell us about the event:

Maude Barlow

  • “One of the things that happened in Alberta is more people voted than last time – we need to go vote.”

  • Long list of organizations Harper has clear-cut are chronicled in Maude Barlow’s new report

  • “A lot of people think their vote doesn’t matter, but this time it will matter more than ever.”

Paul Moist in Saskatoon

Paul Moist

  • Paul Moist speaking about decreasing voter turnout in Canada. Lets turn that trend around!

  • “Harper got a majority government with less than 25% of eligible voters.”

  • “We as Canadians cannot just go vote on what we don’t want; we need to vote on what we do want”

  • “Just 158 days until the federal election. Time to organize and go vote.”

Jack Saddleback

  • paraphrasing Hemingway: let’s have a Canada superior to its former self

  • “We need to include aboriginal people in this process including having indigenous people run for office”

  • “Indigenous people didn’t get right to vote until 1960.”

  • “youth voter turnout already low. Oct 19 election timing a barrier to many students because of midterms”

Rob King

  • “Ideology matters. Public policy matters. Arts organizations across this country are being cut.”

  • “It’s crucial that our creative industries don’t continue to fall victim to the murky misrepresented idea of austerity.”

  • “Creative cultural agencies are significant for social change.”

Zoey Pricelys Roy

  • “If you don’t know where to start just start with your blank canvass and do something”

  • “The idea that we need to participate in this colonial government? That’s a hard sell, but I’m on it!”

This evening’s event was organized by the Council of Canadians in partnership with the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

The next election forums will take place on May 19 in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia and on May 20 in Moncton, New Brunswick.

For more on our democracy campaign which seeks to increase voter turnout in the October 19 federal election, please click here.

Photos by Chris Gallaway and Tria Donaldson.