The U of T New Democrats hosted a small roundtable session at OISE on Wednesday night which featured Canadian journalist Linda McQuaig — currently the NDP Candidate for MP in the Toronto Centre by-election.
McQuaig, a prominent Canadian journalist, won the nomination in September and is running to replace former Liberal interim leader Bob Rae, who resigned from Parliament in June. She is competing against Liberal candidate Chrystia Freeland, Conservative candidate Geoff Pollock, and Green Party candidate John Deverell.
The event covered many topics, including: tuition rates, public funding of universities, class inequality, and private fundraising for universities. One audience member asked McQuaig about her position on the monarchy, and another asked about the NDP’s views on foreign policy.
McQuaig challenged how unpaid internships are monitored, saying that they need: “to be more seriously looked at and more seriously regulated.”
Toronto Centre is widely seen as a Liberal stronghold, with the party having held the seat since 1993. McQuaig, speaking on her chances of defeating the Liberals, said that Freeland is “very vulnerable,” as, according to McQuaig she has only lived in the riding for a short time, and has spent much of her life outside Canada. She also contended that Freeland’s book Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else, “Has no ideas about how to help the middle class,” and “Barely mentions Canada.” McQuaig said she does not know that much about Pollock.
In total, 17 people attended the event. This was the U of T New Democrats’ third event of the year. The executive of the U of T New Democrats have been hosting events in conjunction with other NDP groups around Toronto, with the “main focus” now being on the by-election, but with “overlapping” concern with other issues.