There are concerns that younger voters might not be very engaged in this year’s Ontario provincial election. Muslim Link has sought out young Muslims in Ontario who are working, volunteering, or running with each major party in the provincial election to get their opinion about why it is important to be engaged in provincial politics. Our first interview is with Adnan Ali who is volunteering with Progressive Conservative Candidate Jack MacLaren in Carleton-Mississippi Mills in Ottawa.
We at Muslim Link strive to make it a non-partisan publication that respects that Ottawa's Muslims support a variety of political parties. However, when we were invited to spend a day with Yasir Naqvi, the Ontario Minister of Labour with the Liberal Party, we jumped on the opportunity to see just what a politician does with his or her time. Our goal is to demystify the work of politicians and encourage citizens to take more of an interest in politicians' work throughout their time in office, not just during elections. This is important in order to keep politicians accountable to their constituents. Along with Muslim Link reporters, 16 year-old Adilah Makrup, a Lisgar High School student and photographer living in Yasir's riding, was invited to join Muslim Link on November 15th for the chance to connect with the man who represents her and her family provincially. We hope that this will become a regular series as more politicians invite us to spend the day with them.
The first Voice of Muslim Youth provincial election engagement session took place on Sept. 10 at Ben Franklin Place. I decided to organize this session after attending the Voice of Muslim Youth's Town Hall Meeting in July, when concerns around the lack of Muslim political engagement were raised. I told Kauthar Mohamed, the co-founder of VOMY, that I had an idea of how to get Muslim youth interested in politics by showing them how the issues that concerned them most were linked to Canadian politics.
As the Ontario provincial election is taking place on Oct. 6, I felt there was a great opportunity to encourage Muslim youth to vote in the upcoming election by giving them the chance to meet and discuss their concerns with local provincial candidates. Thanks to the sponsorship of the South Nepean Muslim Community and the Ottawa Muslim Women's Organization, we were able to cover all the costs related to organizing this important event.