Fredericton Liberal candidate Matt DeCourcey is confident in his chances in October’s federal election.
“The reception at the door, the external polling numbers, and our internal polling numbers tell us that we have a very good chance to win this riding,” said DeCourcey. “This is a two horse race here in Fredericton between the Conservative candidate, and myself.”
DeCourcey has history on his side. In every election since 1917 the riding that represents Fredericton has been held either by a Conservative, their predecessors the Progressive Conservatives, or a Liberal.
As of the Sept. 19, the polling website ThreeHundredEight has DeCourcey leading in the polls with 36.6 per cent, and gives him a 75 per cent chance of winning the riding.
The Liberal Party, the party once considered the natural governing party of Canada has seen reduced seat totals in the last four federal elections. From 168 before the 2004 election to 36 at dissolution. But DeCourcey said this Liberal party is a new one.
“The Liberal Party of Canada has undergone a tremendous renewal process over the last 10 years,” said DeCourcey. “We have re-engaged with Canadians right across the country.”
At the time of the interview the only student focused policy the Liberal Party had announced was $50 million in additional annual funding to go to the Post-Secondary Student Support Program, to help aboriginal students.
DeCourcey said there will be more commitments made soon.
“Our post-secondary platform will include realistic, and attainable ways of ensuring greater access, and greater affordability for middle and lower income Canadians,” said DeCourcey. “Were also going to offer more grant opportunities to those who need it most up front.”
The Green Party made waves in the student community for promising to eliminate tuition by 2020. DeCourcey said the Liberal platform will include no such promise.
“I don’t think the Green Party plan is realistic in the context of how they are proposing to fund it,” said DeCourcey. “I don’t think it’s realistic for us to presume that we can pay for the tuition of millionaire’s kids.”
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau has drawn fire from his opponents both on the right, and on the left for saying his government would run three years of deficits in order to steer Canada through the economic downturn.
“This is the ideal time to invest in infrastructure the way we are proposing,” said DeCourcey. “Interest rates are at an all-time historic low in Canada. We have infrastructure throughout our country, which needs upgrading. It’s ageing, and it’s not able to meet the demands of today.”
Trudeau has been criticized for his promise to legalize marijuana if elected.
DeCourcey said the current tactics used to keep marijuana out of the hands of teens are not working.
“We can control marijuana through legalization to keep it out of the hands of young Canadians,” said DeCourcey. “To keep money out of the hands of criminal organizations.”
When asked why students should vote for him, DeCourcey said it was because the Liberals are the best option.
“This is the party, this is the leader, and this is the local candidate that best understands the reality that young people face. We are best placed to present a type of government where young people will have a voice.”