Students at Durham College (DC) and UOIT have plenty of choices to represent them on Oshawa council in the upcoming municipal election.
The city has introduced a new ward system and DC and UOIT are situated in Ward 2, which will elect one candidate to sit solely on Oshawa council and another candidate to represent the area on both Oshawa and Durham Regional councils.
Oshawa’s new system has five wards, ranging from north of Raglan to the Oshawa lakeshore.
Ward 2 ranges from Highway 407 east to Ritson Road North, then south and west to Rossland Road West to the Oshawa-Whitby boundary. Also in Ward 2 is Windfield Farms, the Oshawa Airport and Camp Samac.
Outgoing regional and city councillor, Amy McQuaid-England, who is not running for re-election, is a proponent of the new ward system.
She says she pushed for ward elections because they give people the opportunity to know more about their candidates and a higher potential to meet them.
“You have two people (regional and city council representatives from each ward) now, who are dedicated to a certain area, who have similar goals and interests, who can move issues forward from that very local perspective, and that’s what municipal government is about,” McQuaid-England says.
Among the 10 candidates in Ward 2 is Karen Albrecht, a recent graduate from the Trent University Durham campus. Albrecht is running for a local councillor’s job and currently sits on the TrentU Durham student association, where she has advocated for Trent students on different issues.
She says she understands students have different needs than voters in other demographics and plans to have an open door policy when it comes to students and their concerns.
She also says council should encourage the creation of a graduate program so students remain in the city after their education is done to contribute to the growing economy in Oshawa.
Jane Hurst has lived within the Ward 2 boundary for almost 40 years. She plans to advocate for all voices if elected to council.
She says students are attracted to Durham College and UOIT for their strong reputations, and it is important for students who come here from outside the region feel Oshawa is their “home away from home”.
Hurst has three children who have all graduated post-secondary institutions and says she understands the challenges of those attending university and college.
Other candidates in the city race include Jonathan Giancroce, Adrian Gianello, and Gail Bates, who is an incumbent councillor.
The only woman running in the regional and city race is Julia McCrea. She has worked with DC and UOIT in continuing education and considers herself a life-long learner.
McCrea plans to support students to find opportunities to engage, enable, and empower them to participate in the community and governance in the city and the region.
She came to DC on Oct. 5 to inform students about the advanced polling station at The Campus Ice Centre.
There are four other candidates in the regional and city race, Daniel Cullen, George Gus Milosh, Jim Van Allen and former councillor Tito-Dante Marimpietri.
Students who are residents of Ward 2 had the opportunity to vote early at the Campus Ice Centre on Oct. 5. The centre will also be open on voting day on Oct. 22.