Letters to the editors

Get out and vote

Dear Editors,

Many people think municipal elections are a bit of a joke, and don’t bother to vote in them. They think all the really big decisions get made at a provincial or federal level.

In some cases they may be right, but on a day to day basis, municipal policies have a real impact on our everyday lives.

As Queen’s students, you may not feel that Kingston is “your home” and therefore you might not take the time to investigate the candidates running in this municipal election.

Think about it though.

If you’re living in a substandard unit, where the landlord doesn’t seem to give a crap about your complaints, are you going to call your MP or MPP?

No, you should call Property Standards, right here in Kingston, and if you don’t get satisfaction there, you should call your City Councilor.

If you’re unhappy that the recycling guys keep putting notices in your blue/grey bin because they don’t like the way you’re sorting your materials (even when you’re positive you’re doing it right), are you going to call a federal or provincial representative? No. You’re going to call the City Yard, and maybe your Councilor next.

If you’re concerned about the lighting in a park, or safety issues in your area, who are you going to call? Parks & Recreation, and then your City Councilor.

On a daily basis, Kingston city council’s decisions will have an impact on your life.

They will also have an impact on community members all around you, from the business people on Princess St., to the panhandlers you may see downtown, from the taxi drivers to the landlords charging exorbitant rates for inadequate service.

Having gone to Queen’s, I know how little time you have, and how meaningless “local” politics may seem. But invest a little time in this, and you will do the whole community a huge service.

For information on the election (candidates, polls, important links) visit: myams.org/society/mac/552-elections; kingstonelectors.ca or cityofkingston.ca/cityhall/election/.

Most of the candidates also have websites, and if you take a few minutes to explore them, you’ll see how incredibly different their viewpoints are, and how important it is to support the ones you think align with your philosophy and serve your needs.

Kudos to the AMS for recognizing the importance of the municipal election, and hosting the recent Mayoral debate.

I hope others will take the time to act locally and vote as well.

Martha Rudden, ArtSci ’86

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