With the municipal election growing closer, Quebec Community Groups Network’s (QCGN) Vote it Up campaign encourages students and youth to go to the polls on Nov. 3.
“QCGN is a not-for-profit organization bringing together 41 English-language community organizations across Quebec. Its mission is to identify, explore and address strategic issues affecting the development and vitality of English-speaking Quebec and to encourage dialogue and collaboration among its member organizations, individuals, community groups, institutions and leaders,” explains Director of Communications and Public Relations Rita Legault.
The Vote it Up campaign was created just before the 2012 Quebec provincial elections out of QCGN’s concern that young English-speaking Quebecers were not included in any of the other campaigns encouraging youth to vote.
“We made a proposal to the Directeur général des élections du Québec (DGEQ) to build a 2.0 campaign seeking to encourage young English-speaking Quebecers aged 18-35 to vote. We renewed our partnership with the municipal elections and look forward to continuing this collaboration over the next few years,” said Senior Project Manager Roseline Joyal-Guillot.
According to Creating Spaces, a 2009 study by the QCGN, English-speaking youth in Quebec face lower political participation and representation and higher unemployment rates compared to their Francophone counterparts.
Joyal-Guillot insists, “Vote it Up aims to spark youth interest around voting because voting is the first step in understanding the political landscape and actually contributing to some important decisions that affect their day-to-day lives.”
The main spokesperson for Vote it Up campaign is Rosanna Tomiuk, former national water polo Olympian, singer-songwriter, and young entrepreneur. The campaign has been working hard to recruit young ambassadors to spread the word on the importance of an English-speaking youth vote for Montreal.
“Youth are more inclined to get out and vote and get involved when they are engaged directly by someone they know. We have proposed a series of activities our young recruits can implement in their community to educate their peers about the importance of voting,” explains Tomiuk. “Youth aged 18 to 35 represent 25 per cent of the population of Quebec, but less than 30 per cent of us went to the polls in the last municipal elections.”
To stimulate further interest in English-speaking youth, Vote it Up is reaching out to young people where they gather most: on social networks such as Facebook, Youtube and Twitter.
For further information visit voteitup.ca.