By Jeffrey Lee, President 2019 - 2020
Hello everyone! My name is Jeffrey Lee the ESSCO President and on October 9th, 2019, I headed to Parkview Manor in North York, Toronto to to attend OSPE’s Federal Election Round Table on behalf of ESSCO. The goal of this event was to voice OSPE’s Task Force Recommendations to the candidates from federal parties. Moreover, there was an opportunity for a Q&A which allowed audience members to speak with both OSPE’s Task Forces and federal candidates who were present, including representatives from the Green Party, New Democratic Party (NDP) and People’s Party of Canada (PPC).
OSPE invited all of its members to this event, including its student members. OSPE offered a special Q&A period for students to ask questions of the federal candidates, which gave us a unique opportunity to voice our concerns in a supportive, engineering-focused environment.
The main question I posed was: “With many of the initiatives that you proposed, this will require a large input from STEM fields. What is your party doing to ensure that STEM is promoted as a profession in high school to post secondary institutions?” Each of the candidates’ responses described how their party was engaging the STEM field: the Green Party and NDP had a similar platform of investing in subsidies that would make education more affordable while the PPC wanted to support education as well as evaluate the need for STEM in our current market before making that investment. In addition, they believed in looking into privatization of education.
I believe that events like these are a great opportunity for students to engage with their communities. Many of the engineers in attendance are members of the workforce who truly care about the impact they make, and have valid concerns of where government will take engineering into the future. As a student, it is an incredible opportunity to offer our perspective to federal candidates as well as the engineering community as they help us shape the next generation of engineers.
I highly encourage you to attend events like this and give your thoughts to your community or political figure since much of the work they do will affect your daily lives. As a student, you can become an OSPE student member for free! Attend events like these, engage with professionals in social settings, and learn more about the engineering profession, not to mention the amazing benefits that accompany a membership!