GTA

3 GO train stops, 3 different takes on the federal election

In the final days of the federal election, CBC Radio’s Metro Morning boarded a GO train to find out what matters to voters in GTA swing ridings that could decide who forms Canada’s next government.

Host Matt Galloway rode the Lakeshore West line from Burlington through Oakville and Mississauga, before ending in downtown Toronto at Union Station. The route passes through six of 17 GTA swing ridings identified by CBC News.

Undecided voters, commuters and even Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie and Toronto mayor John Tory joined the ride, talking about the issues that matter to them this election.

Here are three of those voters, with three different takes on what matters most this election.

Jen Olchowy, Burlington voter

Once a former Conservative Party of Canada staffer, Jen Olchowy says she’s now an undecided voter.

“It’s been disappointing to see the mud slinging and the negativity of this campaign,” Olchowy said. “I don’t know whether to vote for a local candidate, for a leader of the party or go strategy.”

She says issues of character, particularly among leaders, is her top priority this election.

“If I can find a leader who can bring the country together, then they’ll get my vote. They need to act prime ministerial.”

Olchowy says in the final days of the campaign she’s leaning toward Jagmeet Singh and the NDP.

Druv Sareen, Mississauga voter

Druv Sareen says health care is among his top concerns this election, especially with changes coming to that portfolio provincially.

He also said the opioid crisis hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves this election.

“I think that few parties are dealing with the opioid crisis, and that’s something that needs to be dealt with rapidly,” he said.

Svetlana Franz, first time voter

Svetlana Franz immigrated to Canada over a decade ago, but this will be her first time voting in a federal election. It’s an issue that many newcomers face; only half of recent immigrants who are eligible to vote actually exercise that right and choose to cast a ballot, according to Statistics Canada.

Franz says she wasn’t used to democracy as an immigrant from Kazakhstan, where the same president held office from when the country gained independence in 1990 up until earlier this year.

“When I left Kazakhstan I wasn’t accustomed to voting,” said Franz.

But that changed this year when Franz, in her work with other newcomers through the Halton Multicultural Council, was asked to host a seminar to teach recent immigrants about the electoral system here in Canada.

“I believe it’s extremely important to participate, especially this year,” Franz said. “People need to realize how important it is to express their opinions and participate in voting.”

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