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Daggers out at all-candidates meeting

Four of riding's nine candidates talk



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At that point there was a comment from the audience that suggested that while Canada made it easy for Mexicans to get visas, the same assistance hasn't been offered yet in Venezuela.

There were additional questions asked regarding sustainability and barriers to trade and labour within Canada, with very little contention from the candidates.

The final question asked by a Terry Platt supporter was why there weren't many young people in the audience and how candidates would increase the youth vote.

Wauters pointed out that the debate was on 4/20, which some people celebrate as a day to legalize marijuana. "The Green Party realizes that a $20 billion industry might be something to legalize and get taxes from. We realize that it's relatively innocuous next to cigarettes and alcohol - those are dangerous drugs."

He also pointed out that if young people actually voted, then polls show that the Green Party would have 30 to 35 seats in the House of Commons. "But they don't vote. They're disenchanted with the system."

He later added that youth were frustrated by the lack of support for the environment in policy. "They're looking at us, and what we are doing to the planet," he said. "They want to know why we're engaged in a growth economy in a limited world... we have to acknowledge the limitations (of the planet) and the current economic system doesn't do that."

Weston pointed to the federal government's support for the Volunteer Youth Forum in West Vancouver and events like Crankworx that young people support.

Legassé pointed to the debate that was held at Quest University on Thursday and suggested that the candidates ask the students why 40 per cent of eligible voters didn't cast ballots in the last election. He also suggested that a senate that was based on proportional representation could make people feel as though their votes counted.

Veniez said it was a serious question. "I think the central problem is us," he said. "These kids are smart, they're 10 times more engaged than we were at that age. But we make it tough for them to engage in the process because they're so turned off. They look at us and are rightly turned off by the lack of civility, the character assassination, and lack of addressing issues they really care about."

A member of the audience pointed out remarks that Veniez himself made earlier in the evening as an example of a lack of civility.