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St. John’s students weigh in on municipal campaign issues

Memorial University student Vladimir Andrade says he hopes to see a mayor elected who will focus on minimizing drunk driving.
Memorial University student Vladimir Andrade says he hopes to see a mayor elected who will focus on minimizing drunk driving.

On Sept. 26, citizens of St. John’s will elect their new municipal government.

The Telegram interviewed students from Memorial University and the College of the North Atlantic on their thoughts about the upcoming election.

Although many of the students admitted they haven’t been following the candidates running in the municipal election, they have some ideas about the change they would like to see in the city.

Vladimir Andrade of Belize told The Telegram that although he hasn’t been living in St. John’s for long, he has seen some areas he feels needs improving.

“Like any country, there should be a large focus on education,” said Andrade. “But I’ve noticed that the roads need a lot of work. I have heard so many complaints from Newfoundlanders about unsafe highways, and potholes on the roads.

“Also, I think there should be a bigger focus on catching drunk drivers. During the summer I saw a car driving in the opposite lane, almost crashing into another car. We need our roads to be safe in every way possible.”

College of the North Atlantic student Zack Power says he will vote for Finn the dog in the upcoming municipal election.

Zack Power, a student at the College of the North Atlantic, says he is voting for the newest candidate running to become the mayor of St. John’s — Finn the dog.

“I really like his platform,” laughed Power.

In Finn the dog’s campaign video, his owner states, “Potholes will be a thing of the past, due to his hands-on leadership.”

In terms of driving conditions, others also highlighted the need for some roadwork in St. John’s.

Ryan Bartlett, also a student at the College of the North Atlantic, said he hates driving in the city because of the conditions of many of the roads.

“Potholes need to be repaired,” he told The Telegram. “Not half-assed with signs or some attempt to fill them in — they need to be fixed. Completely.”

Although he personally hasn’t been following the campaign, Bartlett added that he likes the idea of a mental-health emergency facility.

“We need it here, badly,” he said. “That’s an issue all on its own.”

But roads and mental health aren’t the only issues that need addressing in the city, according to Jessica Dobbin. She told The Telegram that she fears not being able to find work when she graduates from college next year.

“It’s not fair that so many of us will have to leave the province for work,” Dobbin said. “For me, my family is here, I mean this is where I grew up. I love Newfoundland, and if I could live here and make a decent living, I’d stay and just go away for vacation.”

Unfortunately, Dobbin says, it looks like things may be vice versa, unless some serious changes are made.

“It just really makes me sad to know that at some point, I might have to leave my home just to ensure I can get a good job. Not even because it’s my choice, but because I’m left with no other options.”

 

beth.penney@thetelegram.com

victoria.plowman@thetelegram.com

 

Who’s running?

Mayor: Andy Wells, Renee Sharpe, Danny Breen

Deputy mayor: Sheilagh O’Leary, Michaelle Worthman

At large: Darrell Power, Terry Bennett, Jennifer McCreath, Tracy Holmes, Larry Borne, Debbie Hanlon, Tom Hann, Maggie Burton, Art Puddister, Ron Ellsworth, Dave Lane, Sandy Hickman

Ward 1: Lou Puddister, Deanne Stapleton, Nadeem Saqlain

Ward 2: Pamela Hodder, Tom Badcock, Wayne Ralph, Derek Winsor, Greg Dunne, Hope Jamieson, Jonathan Galgay

Ward 3: Jamie Korab, Peter McDonald, Walter Harding

Ward 4: Ian Froude, Scott Fitzgerald

Ward 5: Paul Dinn, Fraser Piccott, Mike Walsh, Jamie Flynn, Wally Collins

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