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Future Majority aims to amplify youth voices in Ontario vote

It’s less than three months until voters in Ontario go to the polls for a provincial election, and Future Majority is getting ready.

The youth-led civic engagement group is actively recruiting young people in Ontario to make sure their peers have all they need to participate in the summer vote, testing out social media strategies, and starting to canvass the views of young voters on campuses.

“We’re recruiting volunteers across Ontario,” said spokesperson Camillia Wong. “They know the people in their communities the best, they know what is going to engage young people in their ridings.”

The goal of the non-partisan group is to encourage as much political engagement as possible among those aged 18 to 35 years old in the hopes it will lead politicians and their strategists to pay more attention to their concerns.

“To get young people’s priorities on the agenda — things like action on climate change, like funding for mental health, addressing affordability and making sure there are well-paying, stable jobs available for young people and that we have the training in order to get those jobs — that means we need to come out and vote,” she said.

The election, which must be held no later than June 2, will pit Premier Doug Ford and his Progressive Conservative government against the official Opposition NDP and the Liberals.

Each of the challengers is finding support from just over a quarter of likely voters in recent polls, while the government has the support of around 37 per cent.

While some 40 per cent of Canada’s voters can be defined as either part of the Millennial or Gen Z generation, the portion of younger voters is lower in Ontario, at around 25 per cent, Wong said.

She said Future Majority is developing a voter education tool similar to the VoteTube site it built for last year’s federal election, which featured video responses from the leaders of the federal Conservatives, Liberals, NDP and Greens to young people’s questions.

The group has more than 60,000 members, most of whom got involved during 2019 and 2021 federal election engagement efforts, and it hopes to amplify their advocacy by getting them to encourage family and friends to vote, too.

Future Majority is also ramping up its use of social media platforms where young people spend most of their time, namely TikTok and Instagram, Wong said.

Wong said the group is also interested in forming two regional focus groups to track the changing views of undecided young voters on various issues and the political stances made on them as the campaign progresses.

“Every election is a young person’s election because we are voting for our futures,” she said. “All of the issues that are on the table, whether we are talking about health care or jobs or education, all of these issues have a huge impact on what our futures look like.“

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