As the Liberal MPP candidate for UTSG’s riding, Jo-Ann Davis’ inclusion of key platform points concerning education, mental health, and housing reform are strategic: they are issues that affect much of the student population, therefore making her as relatable as possible to a good chunk of her potential supporters.
Davis mentions that as an alum of U of T’s St. Michael’s College, she understands the hardships of student living. She says that one of the great impacts the Liberal Party has made for students in the University—Rosedale riding is the investment of $9 million to mental health supports. However, what should be questioned about this investment is what exactly the money is being put toward. With an investment of that size attached to something very important to the well-being of all students, making sure that all of it is being put to good use is crucial. For example, additional psychiatrists and mental health workers and shorter wait times at the Health & Wellness Centre would be ideal for students.
Davis also discussed investing in co-op programs for more than just the engineering and computer science students, which would cost $190 million over the next three years. As other postsecondary institutions ⏤ such as the University of Waterloo ⏤ already have these kinds of programs in place, this would allow students at U of T to be more competitive in the postgraduate job market.
Overall, Davis seems to be a candidate best suited for the University—Rosedale riding based not only on her personal history, but also on her relatability. Being a U of T alum, Davis would most likely be able to focus on the issues that she may have dealt with as a student. However, an overarching issue the Liberals have been struggling with is overspending deficits, which may hinder Davis considering the large amounts already invested in student care and development.
Areej Rodrigo is a fourth-year English, Professional Writing and Communications, and Theatre and Performance student at St. Michael’s College.