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NEWS: PCs pick venture capitalist for University-Rosedale (May 2022)

May 17th, 2022 · No Comments

Carl Qiu seeks to attract youth vote 

In 2018, Qiu was elected president of Ontario PC youth, a position he held until 2019. COURTESY CARL QIU

By Carly Penrose

The Progressive Conservatives have an uphill battle in University-Rosedale in the upcoming  provincial election. The district has been a longtime NDP and Liberal stronghold, but Carl Qiu, a venture capital associate, has decided to take up the fight as a member of Doug Ford’s PCs. Qiu hopes to be the first candidate to turn the riding blue in over twenty years. 

Qiu was two years old when his parents immigrated to Canada and settled in University-Rosedale. 

He says that his upbringing—his parents’ hard work to make ends meet—taught him the value of a dollar and reinforced the importance of fiscal responsibility.

Qiu’s education and career path reflect those lessons. He studied business at the University of Toronto and then earned an MBA from the York Schulich School of Business. Over the past   four years he worked at major financial institutions in downtown Toronto and recently joined a global venture capital firm. 

On his campaign site, Qiu says that by working in the finance and investment industry he has developed an important skill set for managing the Ontario economy and supporting businesses.  

Qiu’s top priority is fiscal responsibility and he argues that it should be a major concern for all levels of government. 

In interviews, he has said that debt and government spending should be kept to a minimum. He has stated his opposition to some government programs because he says that average Canadians will be left paying for those programs with their taxes, which he says is unfair.

Although he has not released specific platform points, Qiu has said in previous interviews that affordability and climate change are also pressing issues. 

He feels, however, that solutions to these problems should not burden individuals, which is what he says other parties have done with initiatives like the carbon tax.

While studying for his undergraduate degree, Qiu shared his public sector ambitions in a 2017 interview conducted by the University of Toronto. Soon after, Qiu became an outspoken advocate and member of the Ontario PC party.

In 2018, Qiu was elected president of Ontario PC youth, a position he held until 2019. In this role, Qiu campaigned for federal and provincial PC candidates. 

During the 2019 federal election, Qiu was a regular guest on CBC segments about engaging young voters. Qiu hoped for improved turnout and more excitement about civic and political engagement among youth. 

Now, as a candidate himself, his campaign strategy reflects his experience reaching out to younger, first-time voters. In addition to conventional campaign strategies like canvassing and events, Qiu uses social media platforms like TikTok, which makes him unique among his opponents.  

His focus on youth voter turnout and his knowledge of issues affecting young working professionals could be assets. Qiu is in his late twenties and is the youngest candidate in the University-Rosedale race by approximately a decade. 

He is running in a riding where young people 20 to 29 represent over 22 per cent of the population, according to 2021 census data from Statistics Canada. 

There is a common belief that PC policies do not connect with young voters, but Qiu is attempting to change that narrative.

The Gleaner reached out to Carl Qiu for an interview but was informed that his campaign only responds to written questions.

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