Letter to the Editor published in the Victoria Times Colonist, 13 August 2002
I am 24 years old and writing in response to a recent article on youth leaving Victoria (“Gone, Gone, Gone,” Aug. 11).
This trend cannot be blamed on the absence of a sports arena and concert venue. Such partisan reporting may bolster commercial interests, but it does nothing to explain why young people are leaving this city. The role of the provincial government is barely mentioned.
Youth are leaving Victoria because their tuition fees have skyrocketed, affordable housing is scarce, and well-paying jobs are non-existent.
The case studies focused on those who left prior to May 2001. This displaces blame from where it belongs: squarely on the shoulders of Premier Campbell and his caucus. Young people are leaving because of the Liberal assault on youth and other marginalized groups.
It is now harder to form unions to protect wages and conditions from unscrupulous employers. It is harder to house and feed oneself. It is harder to access medical care and post-secondary education. It is harder to demonstrate entrepreneurship in the face of multinational control of our economy, compounded with depressed local conditions.
The Campbell Liberals answer only to the corporations that funded their conquest to power. And so youth are abandoning Victoria in search of greener pastures. But stubbornly, some young people remain, and we will not rest content until the people bring down this government and vanquish its corporate agenda from our Island.