PC leader visits Kitchener

On Monday morning, the parking lot of the Kuntz building in Kitchener was transformed into a road hockey arena. The star player? Ontario Progressive Conservative party leader Tim Hudak.

Hudak was in the region for a quick campaign stop and, donning a Kitchener Rangers jersey, took part in a brief game of road hockey at the headquarters of Kitchener Conestoga PC candidate Michael Harris. Joining Hudak and Harris in the quick pick-up game was Dave MacDonald, PC candidate for Kitchener Centre as well as local university students Rahul Bedi and Andrew Windrem.

“It was a lot more fun than I thought it would be, I didn’t know we were going to get to play some hockey,” said Bedi, a student at the University of Waterloo and president of UW Conservatives.

“But these kinds of events are great to have. Like I said they’re a lot of fun, and it’s always nice to get a chance to see the leader of the party.”

Hudak’s visit to Kitchener was a brief one; after a morning stop in Mississauga, the PC leader greeted the around 25 supporters gathered, played some hockey, and then re-boarded his campaign bus for a later stop in London.

Before leaving, Hudak, who proved quite adept with a hockey stick, thanked his supporters for attending and said, “make sure you send our team to Queen’s Park.”

Though this visit was a brief one, Bedi hopes less formal events such as Monday’s will help bring out the youth vote. Which he saidmay be even more difficult than usual considering the provincial election falls less than six months after Canadians went to the polls on the federal level.

“We’re going to do everything we can to get the youth out here,” said Bedi. “Obviously there will be some elements of election fatigue that set in… but it’s going to be a matter of letting young people know that there are opportunities to get involved and that they are needed.”

Bedi also said that, when it comes to post-secondary education, Liberal leader Dalton McGuinty’s plan to commit nearly $500 million to enable $1,600-grants for students from families with an income of less than $160,000, isn’t the answer.

“I know that can be attractive to some, said Bendi of the Liberals’ plan. “But I would urge people not to fall into the trap of ‘oh he’s going to give me $1,600’… it’s a hand out and students have to realize that that money’s going to come from them somewhere down the line.”

Hudak’s plan for post-secondary education focuses on opening more spaces at Ontario’s universities and colleges, as well as promoting greater co-ordination between institutions.

Look for a full breakdown of all the provincial parties’ plans for post-secondary education in Wednesday’s edition of The Cord

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