By Shelby Wye
Belleville’s mayor is interested in the “rock star” way the media portrays him, and wants to see if that will affect how students see him. Neil Ellis is planning on attending MP Justin Trudeau’s visit to Loyalist College.
“That’s my interest in going, is to see this star power go against the disenchanted vote. If he’s that popular in colleges and universities, and get them out to vote, he can win this election,” said Ellis.
This may prove difficult, especially considering that a sampling of around 20 students showed that not many people were aware of Trudeau’s visit to Loyalist. Joshua Vanier, a manufacturing and engineering technician student, admitted he had no idea who Trudeau even was.
“I don’t know now, but when it comes time to vote, then I will research the candidates. Right now, I’m too busy. I’ll be in class when Trudeau visits, so will a lot of people,” Vanier said, “It’s too bad, because I know he’d have some really interesting things to say.”
Victoria Detlor, a student in pre-health, said that she knows who Trudeau is, but isn’t interested in going to see him.
Trudeau will arrive at the school at around 10a.m. He has been making a sweep through Northumberland County, beginning today in Ottawa, and ending this Friday in Lindsay.
Trudeau is one of the nine candidates running for Federal Liberal leader. He is currently a member of parliament for the Montreal riding for Papineau. Currently, he is making the effort to visit schools and community centres, to answer the public’s questions along with making speeches that outline the importance of being involved in the voting process.
Ellis, like a Trudeau, also makes an effort to visit schools. However, Ellis participates directly with the class. The grade five classes of Hastings County are likely familiar to Ellis, who helps out when they are learning their ‘government’ curriculum.
The mayor also participates with the grade 10 civics classes, to help them learn more about how the government works, and how they should be involved.
“My goal with the fifth grade classes, that when I’m retired, that someone will knock on my door running for a council position and will ask ‘Do you remember me, you taught me in grade 5 about politics?’” said Ellis.
Ellis also expressed concern about the low voting turnout for Loyalist College’s student leader elections. Former research shows that the turnout stands at about 10-12%. Even at the municipal level, the turnout is only at 40%.
“Its scary because if its only 12 per cent now, is that what the election is going to be in about 20 years from now? “ he said, “Getting students engaged at the college level is the fist step.”