Speaking before an assembly of post-secondary student activists drawn from across BC, Cindy Oliver, President of the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators, applauded plans by the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) to organize a massive voter registration campaign targeting post-secondary students in advance of the May 2013 provincial election.

“Voter turnout is going to be a critical factor in this election,” Oliver told CFS delegates. “In the 2009 provincial election the incumbent BC Liberals won a majority by slim margins in a handful of ridings.  Voter turnout across the province in 2009 was painfully low.  Making sure that your 150,000 members in BC are registered and voting in May will have a huge impact on the outcome of that election,” Oliver added.

Oliver also stressed the importance of long standing collaborations between FPSE and CFS.  “Our two organizations have been strong advocates for progressive change in post-secondary education.  We’ve worked together in coalitions because we share the same values and believe in the importance of working in solidarity with allies and partners,” Oliver said.  “Over the next five months we need to ramp up those collaborations to make sure that post-secondary education is one of the key vote determining issues for voters across BC,” Oliver noted.

The CFS has set voter registration of BC post-secondary students as a major priority in the run up to the May provincial election.   The organization believes that the voter registration drive will help boost voter turnout numbers across the province.  In the 2009 provincial election voter turnout fell to a historic low with slightly more than half of all eligible voters casting a ballot in that election.  Many commentators have pointed out that the low voter turnout often proved critical in ridings where the margin of victory was less than a couple of hundred votes.  CFS hopes that with the voter registration effort, its members could play a pivotal role in the May election.

You can read the full text of Cindy Oliver's speaking notes to the CFS meeting here.

January 31, 2013



About FPSE

The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC is the provincial voice for faculty and staff in BC teaching universities, colleges and institutes, and in private sector institutions. FPSE member locals, represented by Presidents' Council and the Executive, represent over 10,000 faculty and staff at 19 public and 5 private sector institutions.