Kitchener-Waterloo·VOTER VOICE

Economy, climate change and what these voters are waiting to hear in this election

Three voters from Waterloo region and Guelph joined CBC K-W's 'The Morning Edition' to talk about their top issues in this federal election and what they're waiting to hear from political candidates in this campaign.

'I want them to talk about how we're going to do it,' says voter Asif Manzoor

Voter Voice: Economy, climate change and what's missing in this election

2 years ago
Duration 3:40
Three voters from Waterloo region and Guelph joined CBC K-W's 'The Morning Edition' to talk about their top issues in this federal election and what issues they're waiting to hear about from candidates.

If there's one thing lacking in this federal election so far, three local voters says it's details on how exactly the political parties will get what they're promising done.

Asif Manzoor is a voter in Kitchener South-Hespeler, Andrew Hamilton-Wright is a voter in Guelph and Frances Seward is a voter in Cambridge. They joined CBC Kitchener-Waterloo's The Morning Edition on Wednesday for a weekly voter panel.

"What I see is a big mess. I mean, it doesn't seem like most of the parties had a platform together which I would think, as a federal party, would be your first priority, to have something to say," Hamilton-Wright said.

"It doesn't seem like there's a lot of plan that I'm really seeing which is kind of surprising at this point in this election."

Seward says feels like the country is on the road to recovery from COVID-19.

"I would rather not talk about that anymore and look more to the future," she said.

Seward says she wants to hear about climate change — that's her top issue — but she also wants to hear about universal basic income and taxing large corporations and the wealthiest people.

"Basic income doesn't fix everything, and no one's claiming it will, but evidence from around the world has shown a pattern of positive benefits for individuals and families. I don't hear much talk about that," she said.

"To me, that's a discussion that needs to be had as well," she added. "There's no real, this is how we're going to do it. And I'd like to hear how are we going to do it."

Manzoor says he hasn't heard any party talk about how their economic plan will solve underlying issues.

"That's the only way we're going to make things like the environment sustainable if we don't approach it from a very realistic way that we're going to make our environment challenges, dealing with them, sustainable," he said.

"We want them to talk about social issues. It's not about, 'I'm going to throw a billion dollars on something.' I want them to talk about how we're going to do it so that we can stay sustainable."

Three voters joined CBC K-W's The Morning Edition on Wednesday (from left): Asif Manzoor is a voter in Kitchener South-Hespeler, Frances Seward is a voter in Cambridge and Andrew Hamilton-Wright is a voter in Guelph. (Photos supplied)

Election a 'calculated move'

Manzoor says he felt it was "a very calculated move" to call a federal election now "because we're heading into a few years of economic recovery."

"My first reaction was, bring it on. The election is about the economy, we need to see which party is best suited to lead us into the next five or 10 years of difficulty as inflation is going up," he said.

"So to me, this election is going to be less about other issues that some parties try to make hot-button issues and stir up their base. We need to really look past that and really look at what their economic recovery plan is."

He said there are other top issues that need to be addressed in Canada, like Indigenous rights, the environment and Islamophobia. But, he says, those shouldn't be partisan issues.

"They're issues all parties need to tackle," he said.

Lack of discussion on climate change

Seward says every country has been hit by the impacts of climate change with heat waves and droughts and wildfires.

"What's caught my attention is probably a lack of discussion on climate change," she said.

"To me, the alarm bells are deafening, but when I listen to the politicians, they're talking about COVID, they're talking about the economy and they're talking about various other things but this to me is the elephant in the room and no one seems to be paying attention to it," she said.

"We can have a great economy, we can have basic income, we can have all kinds of things, but if the climate isn't there, we're pretty much doomed."

Hamilton-Wright also says there has been a lack of discussion about climate change and in particular, how Canada needs to build a new energy structure to move away from fossil fuel dependence.

"People talk about, 'Oh, we'll solve this problem, we'll throw a little bit of money at it. Here's a couple hundred dollars to insulate your attic.' This is very different from getting us off heating oil, getting us off natural gas, figuring out how we're going to have a commuter fleet to get people to and from these jobs that they live distant from without having a lot of gasoline consumed," he said.

"I'm just not seeing that level of detail. I'm seeing, we'll do some little things, we'll fill in the details later. It's not going to get us where we need to go. They're talking about it as a moon shot problem. It's a moon shot problem except we don't know where the moon is."

Listen to the full panel: