Weekly Round-Up: November 27, 2015

November 27th, 2015 by Dan Allan

Each Friday, CIVIX provides a digest of the major events in Canadian politics.

NL election countdown

The Newfoundland and Labrador provincial election is just a few days away! All polls point to a sizable win for Liberal leader Dwight Ball over PC leader Paul Davis, but there is some debate over just how big that lead really is. A CRA poll shows the Liberals “poised to sweep” the province, Forum has the Tories “closing the gap” and the latest numbers from Abacus Data show a “commanding Liberal lead”. We’ll only know for sure when polls close on Monday night.

Students from across the province will also take part in the election through our Student Vote program. We expect that more than 5,000 elementary and secondary students from as many as 48 schools to participate from 31 of the province’s electoral districts. You can view all participating schools on our interactive map. All three leaders also took part in our video Q&A

NWT election recap

The Northwest Territories went to the polls on Monday and the electorate “delivered a blunt demand for change” as eight sitting MLAs lost their seats. The unofficial results are available here. Voter turnout was 43.6 per cent. The newly elected MLAs will meet on December 17 to select the speaker, premier and cabinet.

In the Student Vote, students across the NWT took on the roles of election officials and cast ballots for the election candidates running in the 2015 territorial election. In total, 389 votes were cast from 11 schools representing 13 electoral districts. You can view the results here.

Trudeau meets the Queen

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday as part of his first full bilateral trip. Trudeau later met with British PM David Cameron.

Trudeau will also attend the Commonwealth heads of government meeting in Malta starting today, and will attend the first day of the Paris climate summit next week.

Remembering Manmeet Bhullar

Calgary-Greenway MLA Manmeet Bhullar died in an accident Monday when he stopped to help another motorist. Tributes for Bhullar poured in from premiers past and present, as well as other MLAs and politicians and members of the public from across Canada. You can share your condolences with the Bhullar family here.

Question period on Wednesday was dedicated to Bhullar and every question was one he would have asked on the issues he was most passionate about. The day was described as “terribly sad, but beautiful too”, and “one of the legislature’s greatest days”. A state memorial service will be held Sunday in Calgary.

For ongoing updates, follow us on Twitter at @CIVIX_Canada.

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Weekly Round-Up: November 20, 2015

November 20th, 2015 by Dan Allan

Each Friday, CIVIX provides a digest of the major events in Canadian politics.

Trudeau’s debut on the world stage

Just more than a month removed from the federal election, newly sworn-in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has spent the past week on a “globe-spanning trip” that has taken him from the G20 summit in Antalya, Turkey to the APEC summit in Manila, Philippines.

Among the many notable world leaders in attendance, Trudeau’s meeting with US President Barack Obama was perhaps the most notable during the tour. The two leaders discussed trade, terrorism, the economy, energy, climate and refugees on Thursday – as well as tips for keeping ones hair from going grey.

NWT voters head to the polls on Monday

The Northwest Territories heads to the polls on Monday for their territorial general election. Consensus government is used in the NWT (and Nunavut), and the premier, cabinet and speaker are chosen by elected MLAs shortly after the election. The Elections NWT has a handy Polling Station Locator, if you’re not sure of where to vote.

Elementary and secondary students from across the province will also be casting ballots, as part of the Student Vote NWT program. If you’re looking to learn more about the candidates, we asked each to reply to two student-focused questions through video or a written response. You can view all of the submissions here.

Nominations close in Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador is in the midst of their own provincial election campaign. Candidate nominations close today, and election day is set for November 30. The Progressive Conservatives, led by current Premier Paul Davis, may not be able to field a full slate of candidates and currently trail in the latest Abacus Data polling.

The NTV leaders’ debate took place earlier this week (you can watch a replay here), and the final debate of the campaign is set for Monday. Voter information cards should be arriving in mailboxes across the province, but if you’re not sure where, when or how to vote you can visit the Elections NL website. We will also be running a Student Vote program for schools.

Conservative leadership update

Interim Opposition Leader Rona Ambrose has named Denis Lebel to serve as deputy leader of the Conservative caucus, and former-speaker Andrew Scheer to take over as the party’s House leader. The party’s official leadership race is not yet underway, but there are rumblings that MPs Maxime Bernier and Michael Chong could be considering bids.

The Conservatives lost a member on Wednesday, however, when New Brunswick Senator John Wallace quit to sit an independent, citing “irreconcilable differences” with the party. There are currently seven other independent senators in the upper chamber.

For ongoing updates, follow us on Twitter at @CIVIX_Canada.

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Weekly Round-Up: November 13, 2015

November 13th, 2015 by Dan Allan

Each Friday, CIVIX provides a digest of the major events in Canadian politics.

Canada’s new prime minister

We were unable to post the ‘Weekly Round-Up’ last week, so had to wait to share that Justin Trudeau was officially sworn in as Canada’s twenty-third prime minister by Governor General David Johnston, along with the members of his cabinet.

Who made it to cabinet? You can read a full list here. There is regional balance and, because its 2015, it is evenly made up of men and women. You can see all 31 cabinet members in action when the House of Commons returns on December 3 with a speech from the throne.

The (interim) leader of the Opposition

The first Question Period of the 42nd parliament will be led by Rona Ambrose, the Conservative’s party interim leader and interim leader of the Opposition. Ambrose was chosen for the job last week.

In British Columbia, John Horgan will stay on as provincial NDP leader for the next election, scheduled for 2017. Horgan received 95 per cent support at the party’s convention as part of a mandatory leadership review.

Quebec by-elections

Four provincial by-elections were held in Quebec on Monday, and the Liberals won three of them. The Liberals won in Fabre, Beauce-Sud and St-Henri–Ste-Anne, while the Parti Quebecois took René-Lévesque in the Saguenay region.

Voter turnout was low for all four by-elections, ranging from a low of 22 per cent (in Fabre) to a high of 43 per cent (in Beauce-Sud). Full results and statistics are available on the Elections Quebec website.

Provincial/territorial election update

Did you know that the Northwest Territories and Newfoundland and Labrador are in the midst of their own elections? The NWT heads to the polls on November 23 and NL voters cast ballots on November 30.

Polls in Newfoundland and Labrador suggest a Liberal “landslide” win, with Dwight Ball’s party poised to take about 66 per cent of support. This puts them well ahead of the Progressive Conservatives, led by current-premier Paul Davis, who are currently polling at 19 per cent.

With just more than a week remaining until election day in the NWT, one seat has already been determined! Jackson Lafferty was acclaimed in the Monfwi electoral district as he was unopposed. A full list of candidates is available here.

For ongoing updates, follow us on Twitter at @CIVIX_Canada.

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Weekly Round-Up: October 30, 2015

October 30th, 2015 by Dan Allan

Each Friday, CIVIX provides a digest of the major events in Canadian politics.

Government transition continues

Prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau has announced that the House of Commons will reconvene in December. The specific date has not yet been set, but a speech from the throne will be read to lay out the new government’s agenda. Trudeau’s will be sworn-in and announce his cabinet next week.

The old PM has to resign before the new one take over, and Stephen Harper will formally step down on November 4. The Harper family is moving back to Calgary, while the Trudeaus are set to move into Rideau Cottage (rather than 24 Sussex). Harper plans to stay on as the MP for Calgary Heritage (and may also have an airport named after him).

Judicial recounts underway

The federal election is over but there’s still a chance that some ridings could change hands. Recounts are underway in four ridings: Barrie–Springwater–Oro-Medonte (108 votes), Montmagny–L’Islet–Kamouraska–Rivière-du-Loup (269 votes), Hochelaga (541 votes) and Regina–Lewvan (132 votes). A fifth recount was completed in Edmonton Mill Woods and confirmed the Liberal victory.

Judicial recounts are mandatory if the vote margin difference between the first and second-place candidates is less than one one-thousandth of the valid votes cast. They can also be done at the request of a candidate if there are questions about miscounted or rejected ballots.

The final Student Vote results

In total, 6,760 schools participated in Student Vote this election with 922,000 students casting a ballot, representing all 338 electoral districts. You can watch the CBC’s Peter Mansbridge break down the results in this video:

Like the results of the official election, students elected a Liberal majority government and a Conservative official opposition. You can access the final results here. Wanted to keep your class engaged with their democracy? There’s still time to take part in the National Democracy Challenge.

Budget day in Alberta

The Alberta NDP presented their first-ever provincial budget in Tuesday and Finance Minister Joe Ceci unveiled the plan that will see the province run its largest deficit to date.

What did the budget include? The Globe and Mail has put together a list of ‘nine takeaways’, or you can read the entire document here.

For ongoing updates, follow us on Twitter at @CIVIX_Canada.

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Weekly Round-Up: October 23, 2015

October 23rd, 2015 by Dan Allan

Each Friday, CIVIX provides a digest of the major events in Canadian politics.

Canadians elect a Liberal majority government

The results are in! Canada’s 42nd general election took place on Monday and Canadians elected a Liberal majority government led by Justin Trudeau. The Conservatives came in second and will form the official opposition, while the NDP finished in third place. Complete results are available on the Elections Canada website.

Voter turnout jumped to 68.5 per cent for this election, up from 61.1 per cent in 2011 and 58.8 per cent in 2008. This is the highest level of turnout since 1993, when Jean Chrétien’s Liberals won a majority (and the Blue Jays won the World Series).

The Student Vote results

The Student Vote program also saw record participation, with more than 900,000 students under the voting age casting ballots from 6,500 elementary and secondary schools across the country. Like the adults, they elected a Liberal majority with a Conservative opposition. The complete riding-by-riding results are available here.

The program, and the results, have garnered some great media attention from across the country. They were covered by the Globe and Mail, Radio-Canada and many other local and regional papers and stations. Thanks again to the thousands of dedicated and enthusiastic educators who helped make the program a success!

Transition of power

Having won the election, Trudeau’s team has begun the transition to power. The prime minister-designate met with the outgoing PM on Wednesday afternoon before coming together again with Harper on Thursday morning to lay a wreath in remembrance of the two Canadian soldiers killed last October.

Trudeau will name his cabinet on November 4 and has committed to it being gender balanced. The House of Commons will return shortly thereafter, with electoral reform possibly at the top of the agenda.

Leadership races underway

Monday’s election result has sparked at least two leadership races. Gilles Duceppe has (once again) stepped down as Bloc Québécois leader, and Harper resigned from the Conservative top job. Thomas Mulcair and Elizabeth May are staying on as NDP and Green leaders, for now at least, although there is a petition for May to become the Liberal environment minister.

No date has been set for either upcoming leadership convention, but potential Conservative candidates have begun to make themselves known. Diane Finley has expressed interested in the interim job, and Michelle Rempel has mused about running on Twitter.

For ongoing updates, follow us on Twitter at @CIVIX_Canada.

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Principled not partisan: A lesson from students on the future of Canada’s democracy

October 22nd, 2015 by CIVIX

In the early days of summer, before the election was even called, CIVIX began planning a project that would give young Canadians a voice throughout the campaign, rather than just at its close. Too often, students are only heard from after official polls close and the results are already known. We wanted to change this by inaugurating the Student Ambassador Network: an online initiative to share what future voters have to say about the 2015 federal election, and foster dialogue among high school students with those outside of their own personal and political circles. 

Beginning in September, students registered to become a Student Ambassador and received mandates from CIVIX each week. I have had the pleasure of reading and responding to these mandates, and was finally able to complete one myself last week after travelling across Canada to document the Student Vote experience.

From Halifax, to Edmonton, to Calgary, I found that students of all political stripes want a democratic process that is “civil and substantive”. This sentiment was first expressed in the Student Ambassadors’ live commentary on the leaders’ debates and has been echoed throughout the country and throughout the campaign.

Last Tuesday morning in Halifax I attended Prince Andrew High School’s all-candidates’ forum at the invitation of Keshav, the Student Ambassador responsible for organizing the event.  Representatives from every level of government were in attendance, including the mayor of Halifax Michael Savage, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Environment Andrew Younger, provincial leader of the opposition Jamie Baillie, and all four federal candidates from Dartmouth-Cole Harbour. Even Joel Plaskett was there to perform!

In front of these dignitaries and a packed auditorium, Keshav made an opening remark that I won’t soon forget:

“We have the opportunity to create change, an opportunity that many youth around the world don’t have. There is nothing more influential than an informed group of youth. We need to find a passion that we believe in and build on it. It’s about being principled, not partisan. It’s about the policies that are best for Canada.”

Keshav perfectly articulated an idea that so many Canadian youth seem to share – “principled, not partisan”. Could you imagine how robust our democracy would be if every Member of Parliament abided by the same standard?               

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Keshav and all four federal candidates in Darthmouth-Cole Harbour.

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Obligatory post-forum selfie!

 

The sentiment followed me to Edmonton on Wednesday, where students from Victoria School of the Arts were participating in #CBCAsks. The CBC and Student Vote teamed up to find out what matters to Canada’s future voters, and I was there to represent CIVIX and raise awareness about the issues, concerns and hopes that high school students voiced about the election.

The first question posed to students was: What attributes are important in a leader? The first response was respect.

Our conversation quickly turned to the use of negative advertisements by all political parties in attempt to gain voter favour. One student raised her hand, “I think that policies should show the contrasts between parties, not attack ads. Leaders should tell us more about why their party is the right choice, and less about why the others are the wrong one.”

On Thursday morning, the conversation continued across the country in Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver with similar answers repeated by future voters from east to west. Tweeting from the event at East York Collegiate Institute in Toronto, CBC news anchor Reshmi Nair picked up the trend.

In what The Globe and Mail’s Gary Mason and others have deemed the most “belligerent and divisive and, ultimately, un-Canadian” election in recent memory, the want of our youth for considerate and cooperative government is refreshing.

More than 922,000 future voters cast a Student Vote ballot, making sure their voices were heard in Canada’s 42nd federal election. Young Canadians from coast to coast to coast are willing and able to engage in our democratic process in an unprecedented number. Though none of their ballots affected the official outcome of the election, their shared idea could decide the future of our democracy.

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The Student Ambassador Network documents Student Vote 2015 from coast to coast

October 20th, 2015 by CIVIX

Last week we asked the Student Ambassador Network to document the Student Vote experience at their school. Once again we would like to share some of the outstanding responses that we’ve received. 

 

Nicholas
Edmonton West, Alberta

OCT. 3, EDMONTON – The Globe and Mail visited Blessed Oscar Romero High School to interview students (including Nick) and teachers about their Student Vote 2015 experience.

 

 

Keating
Vancouver Granville, British Columbia  

OCT. 9, VANCOUVER — Students at Ideal Mini School lined up to cast their ballots in the Student Vote Election today.

Ideal Mini School sits in the newly created riding of Vancouver-Granville, which has been a serious battleground for all parties since the beginning of the election. The major parties have been campaigning aggressively; Candidates and staff wave signs, distribute flyers and attend schools for Q&A sessions. Ideal Mini was visited by the NDP’s Mira Oreck, Jody Wilson Raybould of the Liberal Party, and Elain Ng of the Greens. On separate occasions, candidates took questions from the Grade 11 social studies class (Wilson-Raybould simultaneously saw the Grade 12 history students).

When asked if these meetings helped shape his decision on voting day Adam Atbi, 16, said the following: “Yes it did. It helps to get face to face with the person who representing you, versus what they and the party stand for. Also, How well they do answering our questions gives a small clue at how they will do with the whole house [of Commons] yelling at them.”

The polling station was open for most of the morning, and featured official Elections Canada ballots and voting screens. Students performed the roles of Poll Clerk, Deputy Returning Officer and Scrutineer.

The Student Vote election results will be broadcast alongside the official election results on October 19th.

 

Francesca
Kitchener South-Hespeler, Ontario 

OCT. 14, KITCHENER – Over 2,000 students at St. Mary’s High school participated in a mock federal election by voting for the candidates from each party that represented the Kitchener South-Hespeler riding.

Since the beginning of the school year, the St. Mary’s Student Vote Team worked diligently to create posters, banners and a master slide show that would help inform the students of the school. Not only did they advertise and educate about the most important and relevant points of each party’s platform, but they also shared some background information on each candidate.

Though it took a significant amount of time to prepare and conduct each duty, the actual voting process happened fairly quickly. Most of the members of the Student Vote Team were signed out of their first and second period classes to distribute the ballots to each class, and then to later tally them.

This year, the Student Vote Team also offered mobile polling stations where two or three members of the Student Vote Team would go to specific classes and explain the platforms and concerns of each party and candidate. Civics classes, history classes and ESL classes found these mobile polling stations to be very effective, as each Student Vote Member would answer questions regarding each candidate and would also remind them of the importance of having the right to vote. It was also a more authentic experience for these students, as each mobile polling station would provide portable voting stalls for each voter to vote in during the event. This simulated a real voting experience.  For those classes that did not request a mobile polling station, they watched the PowerPoints that we previously made on each candidate and their party platform.

Overall, Student Vote Day 2015 was by far more successful than the previous municipal election last year. More students seemed to be engaged, either through the posters, banners and general conversations fostered by the Student Vote Team. The advertising throughout the media, from Twitter, radio stations and TV commercials have garnered the interest of not only eligible voters but also future voters. Mr. Justin Trudeau’s youth and the exciting electoral debates between him and Mr. Harper and Mr. Mulcair generated a lot of interest in the younger demographic. It is exciting to see that more and more students are willing to contribute to the political dialogue that affects the country.

 

Kitchener South-Hespeler

Student Vote 2015 at St. Mary’s High School in Kitchener South-Hespeler.

 

Emily
Sarnia-Lambton, Ontario

 OCT. 15, LONDON – Nearly 300 students from London District Christian Secondary School cast a Student Vote ballot on their local candidates.

London District Christian Secondary School was one of many schools that participated in CIVIX’s Student Vote 2015. Approximately 300 students from the London, Ontario high school learned about the electoral process through a vote for under-age citizens. The school’s grade 10 Civics and Citizenship ran the vote just like a real vote, with polling clerks, ushers, scrutineers, and deputy returning officers. Results are yet to be released. Students, as well as all Canadians will know the results of the Student Vote and the adult Vote on Tuesday, October 20.”          

 

Keshav
Dartmouth-Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia

OCT. 15, HALIFAX – Keshav organized an all-candidates’ forum at Prince Andrew High School to engage the student body. Representatives from every level of government were in attendance, including the mayor of Halifax Michael Savage, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Environment Andrew Younger, provincial leader of the opposition Jamie Baillie, and all four federal candidates from Dartmouth-Cole Harbour. Even Joel Plaskett was there to perform!

 

Peyton
Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, Ontario

OCT. 15, KEMPTVILLE – Peyton wrote a blog post to share the election excitement at St. Michael Catholic School. 

Students at Peyton's high school in Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Island and Rideau Lakes

Students from St. Michael Catholic High School in Leeds-Greenville-Thousand Island and Rideau Lakes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paolo
Langley Aldergrove, British Columbia

OCT. 17, LANGLEY – Students at Pacific Academy got informed and excited about Canada’s 42nd election through Student Vote 2015.

When the time came for my class to vote, it was an exhilarating experience! We had a discussion in class about where each party stands on certain issues, and also had a discussion about each leader. Though the people (parents, teachers, and by extension, students) in my school overwhelmingly support one party, the discussion swayed some students after finding out more about policies and leaders. There was an air of energy in the line as ballots were cast.

Most students based their votes on matters that affected them personally, such as which party benefits their family the most financially. However, they also considered what they thought would be best for Canadians and looked to the future when casting their ballots, considering what each party had to say about the environment, healthcare, and electoral reform.

Initially, some students were apathetic to the whole voting process, since they didn’t see the importance of voting and didn’t really understand the differences between the parties. However, students who closely follow the election, myself included, filled them in on some of the issues and made them realize the importance of voting and making your voice heard. Through the general interest the majority of students had in the election, it’s an encouraging sign that Future Voters will turn up in large numbers and be genuinely interested in politics once they’re able to vote in a “real” election.

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Weekly Round-Up: October 16, 2015

October 16th, 2015 by Dan Allan

Each Friday, CIVIX provides a digest of the major events in Canadian politics.

Federal election countdown

Election day is Monday! Polls are open for 12 hours and you can find out where and when you can vote on the Elections Canada website.

Canadians casting their ballots Monday will join the 3.6 million people who already voted during advance polls last weekend. That’s a more than 70-per-cent increase in turnout over advance polls during the last federal election!

A last look at the polls

They say that ‘the only poll that matters is on election day,’ but it’s still always interesting to see the latest projections before the official results start streaming in.

The Globe and Mail’s Election Forecast favours the Liberals to win the most seats. The CBC’s Poll Tracker also shows the Liberals ahead and gaining support.

National Student Vote Week

Canadian adults aren’t the only ones casting ballots. This week, Canadian elementary and high school students from more than 7,500 schools are participating in Student Vote, representing all 338 ridings across Canada.

From Victoria to St. John’s, and Toronto to Yellowknife, more than 700,000 students will be voting in their schools on the official candidates running in their riding. Results are released at the close of polls on election night.

#CBCAsks

As part of the 2015 Student Vote program, we partnered with Canada’s national broadcaster for #CBCAsks this week. High school students from five cities across Canada were invited to express their issues, concerns and hopes about the federal election.

These events took place on Wednesday and Thursday of this week – just days before the federal election – and featured CBC personalities like Matt Galloway and Adrienne Pan joining students in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Toronto. You can follow the conversation online through the #CBCAsks hashtag.

For ongoing updates, follow us on Twitter at @CIVIX_Canada.

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Student Ambassadors cover the campaign, making headlines in the process

October 12th, 2015 by CIVIX

Last week, we asked the Student Ambassador Network to show or tell us how the 2015 federal election is unfolding in their electoral district. We would like to share some the outstanding responses that we’ve received, including interviews with candidates, interviews with family and friends, and experiences at all-candidates’ debates.

COVERING THE LOCAL CAMPAIGN

Isabella in Victoria, British Columbia

The Campaign in my community is a two-way race between NDP candidate Murray Rankin and Green Party candidate Joanne Roberts. The Liberal Candidate resigned after some controversial Facebook posts, and the Conservative Party hasn’t won here in over 25 years. I have been to many NDP events and have volunteered on my local NDP candidate’s campaign. It has been harder to campaign these days as one of the biggest ways to gain or solidify support is to call people, but now with caller ID, over 70% of the people do not pick up. Many Canadians also don’t read flyers in their mailbox. The biggest way to get voters is social media, but that can be problematic if the candidate posts anything that can be misinterpreted. I would say the NDP is still going to win this seat, because a lot of people know Murray Rankin and support to him, but Joanne Roberts is definitely giving him a run for his money.

Simonne in Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge, British Columbia

My community of Pitt Meadows shares a riding with the city beside us, Maple Ridge. We have 5 candidates running in this election: Bob D’Eith of the NDP Party, Mike Murray of the Conservative Party, Dan Ruimy of the Liberal Party, Peter Tam of the Green Party, and an Independent, Steve Ranta. Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge usually votes either Conservative or NDP, with Randy Camp from the Conservative party winning the last election. This year there was a prediction of a tight race and it has held up to be true. When driving around looking at the campaign signs, it is close between Mike Murray and Bob D’Eith. There are more Conservative signs in Maple Ridge, whereas the NDP seems to have more support in Pitt Meadows. I love driving around and seeing all of the support for our local candidates and seeing people so proud of their party that they want to show off who they’ll be voting for. Signs have been up since the middle of September and it seems like on every morning walk to school there are more and more. There have been three debates held for all of the candidates this year. The first was on September 29th, which had a turnout of over 100 people, and the last on October 6th, drawing a crowd of 200 to our local private school.  The discussions centred around affordable housing, Canada’s international reputation, the C-51 anti-terror Bill, and mandatory vaccines for kids before they go to school. Even though the economy is a big part of the Conservative Party’s platform, it was not really discussed at any of the debates. When I talked to the adults in my life, my teachers, parents, and neighbours, I found the issues that were important to them are healthcare, seeing an increase in available family doctors, housing costs, aid for middle income families, job security (especially for teachers), and funding for seniors. It has been a tight race so far and everyone I have talked to seems to be leaning different ways for a variety of reasons. I love seeing all of our local candidates campaign with a common goal of being elected and making a big difference for our community. It has been an interesting campaign and I am looking forward to finding out who gets elected in my riding and who will be the next Prime Minister of Canada.

Callista in West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, British Columbia

I had the opportunity to attend a Green Party rally in Squamish featuring my local green candidate, Ken Melamed and the party leader, Elizabeth May. The event was called, ‘Defending Our Coast Green Party Rally.’ It was an interesting event and we had the chance to get a picture with Elizabeth herself. It ended up in the Squamish Chief newspaper. Talking to a lot of Squamish residents and students, the environment and the economy is a hot topic. With the struggle for Woodfibre LNG to set up their base on the Howe Sound, there are lots of opinions for and against the project. There is definitely a clear divide between our environmental concerns and economic development. A lot of people have expressed to me that they want the Green Party to win but they’re worried the vote will ‘split’ so they’re planning to vote for our Liberal or NDP candidate. I personally think that is silly and people should just vote with whom they agree with, and where their values lie for the future of this country whether it is Green, Liberal, Conservative or NDP. My social justice class is also running our school election! Which is exciting and I’m very excited to see the results of the students from my school.

 

Callista at a Green Party Rally in

Callista and friends at a rally with Green Party leader Elizabeth May in West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country


Joel in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan

Within my riding, the race has been pretty static. Most rural people support Randy Hoback, who is the Conservative candidate. Lon Borgerson, the NDP candidate, has also attracted some support in the rural areas. This is interesting because you’ve got two different worldviews competing for votes in the rural areas. There are plenty of rural people in my riding and not all of them are farmers. There are a lot of people in Prince Albert who commute into town and live out of town. Within the city of Prince Albert, most people are supporting either Borgerson or Hoback. For the past 15 years or so, the Liberal voter base has been shrinking. In terms of the campaign itself, I’ve seen a few of the debates held by the candidates. Mr. Hoback has mostly stuck to defending the record of the Harper Conservative Government, especially in regards to local infrastructure investment and lower taxes. Both Mr. Borgerson and Mr. Gordon Kirkby, the Liberal candidate, have spoken about their party’s plan for change. The campaign has been civil thus far, with no controversial statements made about candidates personally. The campaign here is about different plans for both the riding and Canada, not throwing mud at other candidates.

Nicholas in Oakville, Ontario

Since the end of August, I have had the privilege of being involved in the Oakville Conservative campaign where the incumbent, Terence Young, is seeking re-election. During my time working with  Mr. Young’s campaign, I have gone canvassing in various parts of the Oakville riding which has taught me invaluable social skills as I have had the opportunity to interact with hundreds of constituents and have had very meaningful conversations with them. While working with the campaign, I have learned about all of the important work Mr. Young has done in Ottawa since being elected in 2008, such as being able to secure substantial infrastructure funding for Oakville, creating and passing a bill named Vanessa’s law which protects Canadians from harmful prescription drugs, and continuing to protect Oakville’s interests. After hearing all of his accomplishments and successes he has had while representing my riding, I began to realize that Terence truly devotes all of his time and effort into looking out for Oakville and Canada and works tirelessly to serve our community. Before getting involved with the campaign, I was not very familiar with the electoral process and how elections functioned. Fortunately, my experience over the past two months has taught me all about elections in Canada and I am looking forward to being a scrutineer on Election Day. I am truly grateful for the life changing opportunity I have been given and I look forward to being much more involved in future elections and maybe serve the Canadian people one day.

Robert in Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston, Ontario

Rural ridings, such as Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston, have very different values and needs than most urban ridings. Agriculture is a common means of living in this area, and the policies and trade agreements set forth by each of the parties will certainly play a role in the vote. A predominantly middle-class region, many voters are looking for support from each of the candidates and their party’s platforms. However, it goes without saying that countless citizens feel as if the nearby cities of Ottawa and Kingston are encroaching on the area’s long tradition of rural culture and lifestyle. The preservation of natural ecosystems, management of natural resources, and dedication to agriculture is what rural ridings need to succeed, and I feel that whichever party is strongest on these three points is likely to win.

Sydney in Langley-Aldergrove, British Columbia 

My riding is currently being represented by Mark Warawa of the Conservative Party. Warawa was elected in 2006. During his time as a Member of Parliament, Warawa has worked to improve justice, human rights, emergency preparedness, and public safety. Mr. Warawa is now running to be re-elected as an MP and he is competing with Leon Jensen, Margot Sangster, and Simmi Dhillon. Leon Jensen, who is a member of the Liberal Party, is a retired Canadian Forces lieutenant who is passionate about serving his community and country. A member of the New Democratic Party, Margot Sangster, has recently worked in Afghanistan as a technical advisor. She is passionate about delivering solutions to challenges in our community and hopes to strengthen our city and the people in it. The fourth candidate for MP is Simmi Dhillon, and she is a member of the Green Party. Dhillon is dedicated to act on climate change in our community. While I have not had the opportunity to attend a debate or campaign event, I have researched all the candidates. I have visited them on their party’s page, discussed the topic with my peers and family, and paid attention to my local news. After extensive research, I have decided who I would vote for.

 

ALL-CANDIDATES’ DEBATES

Student Ambassadors from four different schools across the country made headlines for their role in organizing and participating in all-candidates’ debates.

Jack in Simcoe-Grey attended a debate held at his high school that featured every candidate in the riding! He was able to meet the candidates afterwards and learn about their party’s ideas in detail. The event was covered by local media, and you can read about it here.

Sadia in Stevenson-Richmond East attended the all-candidates’ debate at her school and took the opportunity to ask the NDP and Conservative representatives about an issue that she says concerns her and many of her fellow citizens. Her question and the candidates’ responses were reported in the Richmond News.

 

RichmondDebate

All-candidates’ debate in Stevenson-East Richmond, British Columbia

 

Shannon in Cumberland-Colchester watched her school’s debate with her Grade 12 Law class. The class had compiled a list of 20 questions to ask the candidates, but weren’t able to because of enthusiasm from the rest of the student body. Her fellow students rushed to the stage of the auditorium to address the candidates directly.

“It was extremely motivating to see how many people in my schools had something to say,” she explains. “It demonstrated how much students care despite not being of age to vote.”

Her school’s debate was featured in the Truro Daily News.

Mahdi and Sophie in Richmond Hill were appointed by their teacher to ask the opening questions at their school’s all-candidates’ debate. Liberal candidate Majid Jowhari commended the Student Ambassadors and their classmates for the quality of the questions they posed.

“I think we should have come here first, before he did the [chamber of commerce] debate because these are amazing questions,” he said.

The debate covered a wide range of issues from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, to Bill C-51, to Canadian refugee policy. You can read more about what the students and candidates had to say here.

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All-candidates’ debate in Richmond Hill, Ontario

 

INTERVIEWS WITH CANDIDATES

Peyton in Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, Ontario

To complete her second mandate, Peyton reached out to her local candidates for a one-on-one interview. So far, she has received responses from Green Party candidate Lorraine Rekmans and Conservative Party incumbent George Brown. You can check out her full blog post here.

Jérémy in Gaspésie-Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine

Jérémy created a YouTube video featuring an audio recording of his interview with NDP candidate Philip Toone.

Olivia in Oxford, Ontario

Olivia also reached out to her local candidates and was able to interview NDP candidate Zoe Kunschner and Conservative incumbent Dave Mackenzie.

Interview with NDP candidate Zoe Kunschner

Olivia and Zoe

Olivia and Zoe

O: What are the main points in your platform, and are there any that relay specifically towards the population in Oxford County?

Z: The pillar of our platform is the 15$ a day childcare, not only will that have a HUGE economic boost, it makes childcare affordable and lets working families get back into the workforce.

Oxford is agriculture under supply management, and very very heavy on the auto industry. Which is why for this entire campaign I have been on about the Trans-Pacific Partnership which has come down today, and is a signed deal. Oxford County is basically the “eye of the storm”, and the two main economic drivers of our county are now in complete jeopardy with what Harper has done.

Our environmental platform is huge. It’s very closely connected with our economic platform. A lot of the green energy jobs that are going to help our country get back on a good economic standpoint is going to be through developing sustainable energy. Oxford County is leading the pack already! The county itself has come up with some great initiatives, and I really think an NDP government is going to help make us a centre of excellence.

I think of how big our platform is, and those three are the main points that really have an impact on Oxford.

O: I was wondering if your platform had anything specific for youth, especially those that are new voters or people currently in school?

Z: We have a fantastic youth platform, not only working with the provinces to properly fund our universities, our government wants to get back into funding the research done by universities. It’s ridiculous how expensive tuition is. Some of the most innovative parts of our country come out of our university programs. The government,

  1. Has to have an active role not only in funding these programs,
  2. But working with the provinces to get tuition rates to an amount where young people can actually graduate with a manageable debt load that you don’t have to spend the next 30 years paying off.

Our youth employment strategy is to use the existing government organizations we have, whether its Crown corporations, municipalities, provinces to create job opportunities. We’ve put on the table 40,000 youth jobs just by getting young people working in government. We want to make sure that people trying to get into the workforce get paid internships. Why should you still having to pay rent, still having to pay living expenses, be working for free? Who is that benefiting? The company, not you. We definitely want to put an end to unpaid internships.

I also personally had a problem when they put in Student Minimum Wage. Is student work any less relevant than someone my age working? No. We definitely want to make sure that our youth are paid fairly and that they have access to jobs.

O: Why do you think it’s important for youth 18-24 to vote?

Z: It’s your future. Why would you want a bunch of what we have right now, old people sitting in Parliament making decisions about your life, about the quality of jobs that may or may not be available for you? It’s one of those things that unless you get engaged at a young age, you’re never going to be engaged. Unfortunately in a democracy, if you’re not actively involved in the democracy, you’re going to end up with what we have right now – a dictatorship that will determine for us what they want done.  

If young people don’t vote, then your concerns won’t be taken seriously and that’s not a way to engage you. I think once we get a government and a member of the local party that’s actually interested in bringing youth to the table, they will ask “hey, what are your concerns and how can we work together?” Having an NDP government is going to be so different for this country because we are about partnership and about listening and about that grassroots movement. The government under its current form is reactionary, whereas with us we’re on the ground and talking to people so our policy basically comes from the ground up, not the other way around.

O: Do you have any advice to youth that want to pursue politics, or want to start getting active with the government?

Z: Just do it! It is so rewarding when you get involved in your community. Whether it’s the environment, or sports, there are so many ways to get involved! Getting involved when you’re younger helps you gain your confidence and it helps you get those connections and helps you build a wonderful resume. My motto is, the more people that we can bring to the table, the more effectively we can bring about change.

O: Thank you so much for your time and best of luck in the Election!

Interview with Conservative incumbent Dave Mackenzie

Olivia and Dave

Olivia and Dave

O: What are the main points in your platform, and are there any points that affect Oxford County?

D: This election we’re going to build on the things that we’ve already done. There will be additional tax credits for widows and seniors, the 2016/2017 taxation year will have home renovation tax credits and it will amount to 15%, up to 5000$. It is good for the contractors in Oxford and others.

The Prime Minister announced a “Hub” of Excellence which will be placed in the Burlington area. This will connect manufacturers with people who need their product, but more importantly it will build the Canadian brand and the brand of our manufacturers.

O: Actually, building off the manufacturing point, do you think that the Trans-Pacific Partnership will affect that at all?

D: No I don’t, because today the Prime Minister announced a billion dollars for the auto industry going forward, and that can be used for a variety of things in the auto sector. The other thing that I’ve noticed is that whenever we do anything there is always that “fear of the unknown”. People always tend to air on the side that it will be disastrous. Interestingly, the Japanese auto manufacturers that are in Canada today export 6 times more cars out of Canada than we import from Japan. So, our auto industry in Oxford has become very efficient and it needs to become more efficient in many ways. Some of this billion dollars will go towards that.

O: Is there anything in the Conservative platform that affects young people, that could entice them to vote?

D: Over the years we’ve made a lot of changes for that group of people. Bursaries and scholarships are no longer taxable, they are tax free. We’ve changed the Canada Student Loan and Grant Program, enhanced them for students. We’ve also encouraged funding for the apprenticeship programs because we see more and more people going into trades and apprenticeships, so we’ve worked on that part. There are additional incentives for employers in the trades.

O: Do you think it’s important for young people to vote?

D: Absolutely! People think that their vote won’t matter, but in reality every vote does. If we have 50% of the population thinking their vote doesn’t matter than 50% of the population won’t vote, which really affects the results of the election.

My view is that deciding to vote also comes from your parents. The parents need to make sure to teach their kids about politics and teach them that they have the responsibility to vote because if a person’s parents don’t vote, they most likely won’t vote either. But if you get in the habit of voting early, it will stay a habit for life.

O: Do you have any advice for people that would like to go into politics when they’re older?

D: I think that you should really be involved with your community. It’s the best way that I know to learn about what’s going on in your community.

O: Thank you so much for your time, and good luck in the elections!


INTERVIEWING FAMILY AND FRIENDS

Madison in Battlefords-Lloydminster, Saskatchewan interviewed both of her parents and two friends about the issues that matter to them in this election.

Madison’s Mom: Being a woman with a chronic illness and autism, I have faced many forms of discrimination across all of Canada and throughout the healthcare system that is currently implemented. It is my concern, that I am not the only one who has faced these types of challenges living in Canada. I’d like to see the elected government take steps to prevent abuse within Canada’s healthcare system and to possibly put further funding into programs that deal with both mental illness, and chronic illness, properly and effectively.

Madison’s Dad: Due to the healthcare system discriminating against your mother, I was forced to spend my entire pension plan, and our savings to send her down to the States for proper treatment. What I want to see changed and improved within Canada, is how our government treats single income families and more funding to be added to the Canadian pension plan. I find it to be unfair, that because I make a certain amount every year, I am considered privileged, and yet I am forced to live pay cheque to pay cheque because of taxes and fees. It is unfair to my family, that we can’t afford new winter clothes, or groceries, simply because one of us is sick.

Madison and her dad in

Madison and her dad in Battlefords-Lloydminster

Friend 1: Student loans are currently a huge issue for my family and I. I am unable to move out of my parents’ house and afford rent on my own. The debt will be a constant weight on both me, and my family for the years to come. Education is of the upmost importance to me, however I feel like the cons currently outweigh the pros of continuing on to secondary education. While in school, I am only able to work a part-time job, and that definitely doesn’t cover the debt. My parents have two other children that they have to feed, clothe, and put through school. It’s blasphemy I tell you, blasphemy!

Friend 2: The cost of tuition fees and everything else was too much for my family to be able to afford. Since I live in a big city (Edmonton), the opportunities available are filled up pretty quickly. Employers see a young person, and the first thing they do is stick you in a minimum wage role. Minimum wage doesn’t cover much of anything in this economy. The inherent assumption that students don’t need to be paid as much as working adults grinds on my nerves. Our parents can’t provide everything for us, try as they might. I want Canada to take a completely different approach to both youth employment, and secondary education fees.


THE SOCIAL MEDIA CONVERSATION

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Meet the Student Ambassador Network

October 10th, 2015 by CIVIX

This year, CIVIX is inaugurating a Student Ambassador Network to share what future voters throughout the country have to say about the 2015 federal election. The Student Ambassador Network is an online initiative that fosters dialogue among Canadian high school students with those outside of their own personal and political circles. 

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 5.57.33 PM

 

Irene
West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, British Columbia

“Social justice and democracy have always been 2 of my favourite areas, and I believe that who we vote for and who the leader is can and will affect every Canadian’s life, and we young people should care. The reason I have chosen to become a Student Ambassador is that I want more young people to care about the future of our country.”


Bella
Guelph, Ontario

“I’m a vegan, lover of nature, hiking and camping, and I really care about the environment! I decided to become a Student Ambassador because I believe it is extremely important to get young people informed on the topics having to do with our election, and to get youth interested in politics and issues that matter to them. Most of all I think it is extremely important that all Canadians use the voice they are given by voting.”


Tim
Wellington-Halton Hills, Ontario

“I was introduced to the [Student Ambassador Network] through my Grade 12 law class. I have been really interested in politics the last few years and am especially excited for the upcoming election. I think the Student Ambassador Network is a really fun way to get involved while I’m still in high school. I’m really looking forward to sharing my thoughts!”

Cassie
Cassie
Battle River-Crowfoot, Alberta

“I’m always very busy with hockey and volleyball and studies and homework. I am 14 soon to be 15 and have a great interest in politics and standing for what is right for our federal government.”

 

 

VanessaVanessa 
Davenport, Ontario

“I consider myself a very opinionated individual, that believes in equal rights for everyone no matter who they are or their social standings. I spend the majority of my time reading, doing something school related or just spending some quality time with friends and family. I like to take chances when trying new things, which is one of the reasons I decided to join the Student Ambassador Network.”

“In the past I had no interest whatsoever in the government or the elections tied to it. However, ever since I started taking civics class this semester, I’ve realized the importance of learning about the governmental parties and what they stand for. Many people my age don’t care who could be running our country in a matter of months, so when taking this opportunity I wanted to bring awareness to our privilege of being part of a democratic society, and how much of an effect a new Prime Minister (or re-electing the same one) will cause our country.”


Alyssa
Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, Ontario

“I enjoy playing guitar, playing soccer and reading. I chose to become a Student Ambassador because I have an interest in politics and the future of my country. I recently began Grade 10 and one of my classes this year is civics. I instantly took an interest in learning how our government works. I have watched federal debates and informed myself on what ideas the political parties have for our country. My teacher noticed my interest and introduced me to this program. I signed up because I want to be further involved in our country’s politics.”


Maddy
Oakville North-Burlington, Ontario

“Politics has always been a passion of mine, so when my political science teacher suggested being a Student Ambassador I couldn’t resist. Often young people feel like their voices are not being heard, but by voting or being involved with a campaign such as [Student Vote] all that can change. This upcoming federal election will impact the lives of young people all across Canada, so it’s important to get involved, be informed and let your voice be heard.”


Jerad
Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, Ontario

“I have had many ideas and opinions about political issues but they have unfortunately gotten no farther than discussions with my teachers. Now that I have an avenue to express my views I feel much more confident and inspired to reach out and share. At heart, I am a socialist. Not a hardcore communist- but socialist enough to believe in absolute equality. Social, class, and financial equality are very important issues that I feel need to be addressed by our government. For too long the Harper government has neglected these issues in hopes that they would disappear but any good politician knows that problems don’t disappear, they merely get put off with a temporary band-aid and empty promises. I am an avid supporter of the Green Party, as it seems like Elizabeth May is the only candidate who isn’t afraid to speak the truth. I look forward to sharing more of my political opinions in the upcoming weeks. Thank you again for making this possible!”


Alexa
Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, Ontario

“I was interested in a co-op program that led me into a grade 10 civics class. As my interest in politics grew stronger, I wanted to get myself involved. I was then made aware that I could become a Student Ambassador and grew to be very excited. I am honoured to have been able to take part in this initiative.”


Kaitlyn
Simcoe North, Ontario

“My favorite classes are Art and civics. I decided to become a student ambassador because I have always been interested in the elections and I feel this is a great way to get involved.”

 

Brooklynn
Prince Albert, Saskatchewan

“I chose to become a Student Ambassador because the results of this upcoming election affect me more than any previous election. Although I can’t vote, I want to make my voice heard. I want to see changes to the way youth issues are addressed in Canadian politics, and I believe making my voice heard is the most powerful way I can help. Young people in Canada don’t want to be bankrupted by their post-secondary ambitions, and I wanted to be a part of a network that will highlight the issues that impact me as a young adult. I also chose to be a Student Ambassador because I believe my experience as a volunteer at my local hospital has shaped my views on many political issues. Since many young people do not have much experience in a medical or continuing care setting, I felt it was important that I take on this role. Issues in healthcare need to be discussed by everyone, and I want to get students and politicians talking.”

 

Keating
Vancouver Granville, British Columbia

“I count myself lucky to have been raised in an environment where involvement in politics was valued and encouraged, both by my parents and teachers. As a result I’ve been politically aware for as long as I can remember, and it’s shaped me and my interests. I’m passionate about public dialogue and debate, drawing inspiration from the work of journalists and political thinkers such as George Orwell and Christopher Hitchens. I believe strongly in the role of a free press as part of a fair and open democracy. More than anything, it’s my strong sense of justice that draws me to be a Student Ambassador – I consider contributing to a free society by speaking my mind and challenging what I consider to be wrong a high calling, and it excites me like nothing else.”



JoelJoel
Prince Albert, Saskatchewan

“I chose to participate in the [Student Ambassador Network] because I believe that every chance to participate in our democracy is important and should be taken. I want to see a return to the days when people, not just the political class, got passionate about politics because they saw it as a way to change their lives for the better. That starts by having average, everyday people of all conditions and circumstances take part in our democracy and get involved, for it is a way to change our lives for the better.”

  

Chloe
Kitchener-Conestoga, Ontario

“Although my schedule is fairly busy, I still like to keep track of events/issues currently going on in the world. This includes of course, elections. I have come to realize that young people of my age bracket have little to no experience in what elections are, or what they entail. Which is quite scary considering these youth hold the future of Canada in their hands. I have chosen to become a Student Ambassador, not only for the great opportunity, but also to help inform other youth of my age of politics currently going on in Canada. Voting is such an important and vital part of our society, and education on this matter is extremely impertinent. Even if youth like myself are too young to vote, they can take the information they learned and inform their parents and family members about who they should vote for, followed by a list of reasons why. I look forward to becoming a Student Ambassador, and relaying Canada’s political stands to the youth of Canada.”

 

Kordell
Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke, Ontario

“I’ve been involved in politics since a young age, and have volunteered on several election campaigns. I chose to become a Student Ambassador for many reasons. I enjoy politics, it’s a way to have my voice heard, it’s a way to hear the voices and opinions of others my age, and because I am a future voter. Being an Ambassador challenges me to keep up-to-date on political happenings and allows me to share and see opinions about them.”

 

Ryan
Red Deer-Lacombe, Alberta

“I have been a competitive archer for around 7 years. Recently I have started coaching and I am currently in the process of becoming a certified coach. My other interests include competitive collectible card games and, obviously, politics. This leads me to where stand politically. Currently I most closely identify with the ideologies that would be considered to be located on the center left of the political spectrum. I’m extremely passionate, at times maybe a little too passionate in the ways I express myself, on issues related to educational system as I believe this system to be the foundation of society.”


Robert
Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston, Ontario

“I am interested in Politics, Economics, and issues that affect Canadians. Additionally, I enjoy debating and discussing politics with others, and encourage you to do the same. I became a Student Ambassador because I think all Canadians should be aware of current affairs concerning our country, and should participate in our great democracy by voting and by speaking up for the matters that affect them the most. So this fall, let your voice be heard. Vote!”


Francesca
Kitchener South-Hespeler, Ontario

“I am a Canadian citizen, who immigrated to Canada with my family for the opportunity to attain a better future. Coming from a family with deep roots and ties with the government, politics and the legal system is a very prevalent part of my life. I wanted to become a Student Ambassador because I am very passionate about contributing to the political dialogue that will eventually shape our country. The voting turnout in Canada, especially in regards to the younger demographic has been declining for many years and it’s disappointing especially considering how much of a privilege it is to have a voice in your government. As a Student Ambassador I want to educate and encourage other students to participate in these electoral discussions and become engaged in what is happening in our country, as in the next few years it will be our responsibility to ensure that this country continues to prosper.”

 

RaxanaRaxana
Vancouver South, British Columbia

“I’m a diehard hockey and soccer fan, raised alongside 5 brothers. I love everything art and fashion as well as politics and history. I’m a human rights activist and a feminist, standing for the rights of our people and our woman. I’ve chosen to become a Student Ambassador because I know this is a great opportunity for young people like myself to get our voices heard while they seem to be always trampled by political candidates. They see us as an unimportant opinion, but I find that absolutely incorrect and would love to be able to prove them wrong. The youth speaks the truth, and it’s time for everyone to realize that we know what’s going on, and that we care.”

 

Kyne

Kyne
Kitchener South- Hespeler, Ontario

“I have a strong passion for mathematics and art. I first dove into the political discussion when I was in grade eight and I read books enlightening me about the state of our environment and civil rights around the world and across Canada. I joined the CIVIX Student Ambassador Network because I wanted to challenge myself to be more involved in Canadian politics. Many people in my generation are so concerned with being cool, afraid of appearing nerdy or pretentious. I want to set an example for my peers – that it’s cool to be enthusiastic about politics, elections, and social justice.”


Oliver
Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke , Ontario

“As a student, I have seen how our current government and the official opposition have failed to engage young voters in politics while, at the same time, I have seen the Liberal Party of Canada open its doors wide to young people and their friends. Liberals understand the issues of our generation and have a concrete plan for #RealChange when it comes to issues of importance to us. As a very politically engaged student, I am heavily engaged in my local Liberal campaign and wish to see change in our government come October 19th, 2015! This is why I have chosen to become a [Student] Ambassador – to increase youth engagement within my community and across the country!” 

 

Jérémy
Gaspésie-Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Québec

“Si je souhaitais devenir ambassadeur, c’est simple : je suis un véritable mordu d’histoire et surtout de politique. Alors devenir ambassadeur, c’est une occasion en or de pouvoir m’exprimer en pleine campagne électorale sur des sujets qui me passionnent. J’espère d’ailleurs transmettre ma passion à d’autres jeunes, ou du moins les informer sur les enjeux importants de cette campagne afin qu’ils puissent faire un choix éclairé lors du vote étudiant.”

 

ChristinaChristina
Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston, Ontario

“I recently became a Student Ambassador because I feel that it is important for youth to be involved in today’s society. I have a wide range of experience in many areas, especially those involved with school and community involvement.  I feel that my experience as an elementary school leader, as well as, my leadership within the community as a sports captain/coach and a community public speaker have given me great people skills that could be translated well into the Student Ambassador role.  I look forward to this forum and take pride in being a part of today’s youth.  I believe the young people of today can make a difference both locally and internationally and my message to today’s youth is to stay strong and show pride in yourself and your community. Together we can, and will make a difference!”

Madison

 

Madison
Battlefords-Lloydminster, Saskatchewan

“I have always had a keen interest in politics. It’s something that has always drawn me in and interested me while others may find the topic to be boring. As a student, I always try to be as involved as I can; such as attending meetings that talk about how our government can improve our education. When I was offered this opportunity, I took it immediately because the idea of my voice being heard and taken into account, is something that is of the utmost importance to me.”


Emily
Sarnia-Lambton, Ontario

“I chose to be a Student Ambassador because I feel that this election, and politics in general, is important and should not only be important to adults. I want to be politically educated and show Canada that young people can also have a say in what goes on in our country, even if we are not “eligible voters”. I’m very excited to be a Student Ambassador and I can’t wait to be heard by the general public in this election.”

 

NathalieNathalie
Oakville North-Burlington, Ontario

“I am a intelligent, reliable, respectful student who loves to take on challenges and wants to make a difference in our society. I have chosen to be a Student Ambassador for I believe that my contributions can change people’s perspectives and bring about new shift to our nation.”

 


Arian
Brampton East, Ontario

“I really like technology and working with computers that goes anywhere from animations and graphics design, to technical things like programming and writing applications. I won the technology award at my middle school and I am in school clubs relating to technology. I am into sports such as hockey, soccer, and I play on the school table tennis team. I have also been playing piano for about 9 years and I have completed Grade 5 piano for the Royal Conservatory of Music.”

“I chose to be a Student Ambassador because the idea of having a voice in my country’s politics before I am 18 sounds intriguing. I was introduced to CIVIX when I was chosen to fly to Ottawa for the Student Budget Consultation with Minister Kevin Sorenson. I learned a lot about politics and how our government works, as a result I am honoured to be providing a political viewpoint as a Student Ambassador to other students across Canada. As a Student Ambassador, I will be a big influence to Canadian youth since I am in a similar age group as them. They will care more about politics if students are interested rather than just adults. I want to help Canadians under 18 become aware of how important politics is and to be a voice representing the concerns of students to the Canadian political parties.”



FatemaFatema
Markham-Stouffville, Ontario

“Being a high school student, I know that many of the youth today are not interested in Canadian politics. Not because they don’t care, but because they don’t know. They are unaware of what to care about, and how this really does affect their future. By being a student ambassador of CIVIX I hope to instil an interest in the youth of tomorrow. I hope that by reading my tweets and posts, my peers are able to gain an understanding of the Canadian political system, and why it is important to care.”


Jasmin
Brampton South, Ontario

“I have chosen to become a Student Ambassador due to various reasons, such as having the skills and knowledge to openly debate current political issues. Furthermore, as a Student Ambassador, I wish to express candid thoughts during my debates in order to ensure that the unheard voices of future voters are truthfully heard concerning the changes we want and need. As an Ambassador, I hope to intrigue my mind with further political issues taking place globally. I want to ensure that individuals are aware of the occurrences happening out of their own town, province, and country. Moreover, choosing to become an Ambassador surpasses the learning that takes place within the walls of a classroom. In conclusion, as a Student Ambassador I would like to leave a positive and thought-provoking impact with those whom I converse with.”


Andrew
Kitchener Centre, Ontario

“I am a diverse person with a unique personality. I have played many sports in and out of high school, including hockey, soccer, volleyball, golf, badminton and tennis. I have a keen interest in math and politics. My obsession with politics started in Grade 8 when I participated in the Page Program at Queen’s Park for 3 weeks. While doing this, I served all 106 members of provincial parliament in various ways, and was able to grasp onto how politics actually work.” 



ChazChaz
Chatham-Kent-Leamington, Ontario

“I enjoy many Arts and Drama extracurricular activities at my school. I chose to become a Student Ambassador because I want to get involved with politics. I want to see what goes on in elections and get a sense of how they really work from a perspective greater than Civics class. I am exited to be a part of this and I hope I’ll be able to contribute as much as possible.

 


Samuel
Vaughan-Woodbridge, Ontario

“I like watching different sport and activities. I like to play hockey, basketball, volleyball and Ultimate Frisbee, and I also watch some of the same sports as well. I won a couple of awards in sports for winning a tournament or coming in second place. I like being social and talking to different people and making new friends. I like to ride my bike to different places and parks and I like to bike around the city.”     

“The reason why I choose to become a Student Ambassador is because it’s a great opportunity to understand the life of politics. I like it because I understand the political aspects of how the government deals with the country. I really like watching the debates and seeing what our country has to really offer in a political point of view. If I was able to vote, I would do it in a matter of a heartbeat. To be able to run a great country you need great determination and you need to say your points and prove how it will go to great use. Also, you need to actually commit to your promises and do them. I am happy to see our generation starting to be more into the politics.”




Shannon
Cumberland-Colchester, Nova Scotia

“I currently work as a lifeguard, and plan on going to university somewhere in The Maritimes in the fall. I chose to become a Student Ambassador because I am passionate about what is happening in Canada, and care about how Canadian citizens are affected. I feel that it’s crucial for people of all ages to think about how our country’s decisions will affect daily living, and how the decisions our country makes affects life in and out of Canada. Despite not being of the age to vote, I want to contribute to Canada’s democracy, and do my best to promote others’ participation.”  

 

Paolo
Langley Aldergrove, British Columbia

“I’ve chosen to become a Student Ambassador because I care deeply about politics and would like others to be aware of the issues at hand in this election campaign. I would like for my fellow students to become more involved in the political process, as the decisions made by the next government will have an impact on them, whether they will feel that immediately or not. It’s their responsibility to choose the political party who they feel best represents their interests. They won’t be able to exercise that responsibility, however, if they don’t know anything about the election.” 

 

Robyn
Dartmouth-Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia

I work part-time at Walmart, I’ve been in Sea Cadets for 5 years, and I just recently started enjoying politics because of my spectacular history teacher. I chose to sign up as a Student Ambassador because I’m one of the lead MC’s at our Student Vote ceremony on October 13th at Prince Andrew High School. I am very excited to be involved in this great program and I hope that all goes super well.”

 

Adam
Brampton West, Ontario

“I enjoy music, clothing and the news. I am very passionate when it comes to my political stances and enjoy debating my classmates. I am currently taking a politics course and my teacher suggested I register to be a Student Ambassador and I was very excited to be a part of the Student Vote.”

 

SafiyaSafiya
Calgary Nose Hill, Alberta

“I’ve always had a passion for Social Studies, and that passion has been intensified during my learning of the most recent 30 level curriculum. Political systems and decisions are so complex, and I always wished I could voice my opinion and make a difference. By being a Student Ambassador, I am able to have my voice heard and have a say in Canadian politics, even though I am not yet a voter.”

 

PeytonPeyton
Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, Ontario

“Grade 10 and living life as an Agent of Change! I have spent a lot of my time involved in local and global projects. I have received the Presidential Environmental Youth Award from President Obama for my work on the BP oil spill clean up, have been named a TVO Kids SuperCitizen, have been featured in Owl Magazine and have collected 1000 pounds of aluminum cans for Habitat for Humanity.”

“I have a passion for the political process and a desire to make positive change. In September 2013, I served as a Legislative Page at Queen’s Park for a period of 5 weeks.  In May 2015, I was appointed to the Minister’s Student Advisory Council (MSAC) and am now ‘Speaking Up’ with other students across Ontario to help shape the education system and boost student engagement.”

“All of these opportunities have provided me with the experience I need to be an effective, engaged and enthusiastic #futurevoter!”

 

Avery
Cowichan-Malahat-Langford, British Columbia

“I could tell you that I’m called Avery and that I’m seventeen years old, but I bet I’m not the only one. I might add that I’m a young campaign volunteer in my local riding, which is more to the point. I might even say that I hope to study Sociology or Creative Writing in university, which shows my concern about the future. Here, though, is the most important thing: I’m one of many young Canadians out there  who are following the current election; curious, intent, and immensely frustrated that our voices won’t be heard on voting day. Whether we’re missing the age cut-off by a few months, two weeks, or maybe even a few days, we all feel the same way. Some, like myself, have stepped out and into the political game anyway, by volunteering for a local candidate. Others are more reserved, but still earnest. This is why I have become a Student Ambassador in my school,  to show society and my community that the youth of Canada care.”

 

Elly
Selkirk-Interlake-Eastman or Selkirk, Manitoba

“I chose to be a Student Vote Ambassador because I am a passionate advocate for human rights globally as well as locally. I believe politics plays a large role in this subject and I want to spread awareness to young and future voters about the issues that Canada faces. I want to show that your vote does make a difference.”


Ben
Selkirk-Interlake-Eastman, Manitoba

“I’ve had an interest in politics for years, and now, I have a chance to engage others in my passion. I chose to become a student ambassador because today’s youth in Canada don’t have the opportunity to voice their opinions and ideas, and I want to be a part of that change. Starting now, the CIVIX team and Student Vote are making sure our voices are heard, which they need to be. Today, we are students, learners. Tomorrow, we are teachers and leaders. I figure that this is our best place to start, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me, and the other leaders of Canada’s future.“


Serena
Vaughan-Woodbridge, Ontario

“I tend to focus on the future and have a great deal of aspirations and expectations for myself. I have chosen to become a Student Ambassador because I feel as though as the future of our country, myself and those alike, share many great ideas and values with regards to politics that can be expressed and taken into consideration. It is great preparation to be an informed voter, as we are fortunate to live in a democratic society where our opinions will truly count in the near future.”

 

Myles
Perth-Wellington, Ontario

“Getting into politics was natural for me, as I have always felt strongly about what I believe in. The environment, the economy, and transparency in government are some of the most important focuses in this election, which are all issues that I am extremely passionate about. I’m tired of hearing the generalizing statement that “youth are apathetic”. I believe that we as youth have the power to really make a difference. Aside from this, I want to grow up in a Canada not governed by fear. I want to grow up in a Canada that believes in a better future. I’m ready for real change.”


KeshavKeshav
Dartmouth-Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia

“I have chose to become a Student Ambassador because I want youth to have a say in how decisions are made across our country. I want youth to be involved because I believe that we make our democracy stronger.”

 


Ian
Oakville North-Burlington, Ontario

“This 2015 election has inspired me to become a youth activist and engage others. I lead canvasses for Pam Damoff, the Liberal candidate I’m my riding of Oakville-North Burlington. I’m very passionate about my country and hope to one day make a difference in the political world. I want to get youth engaged and informed so that one day we realize that  we all have a voice, and our vote is important.”

 

Adam 
Beaches-East York, Ontario

“I’m a kind of a  weird kid who likes video games, food, and watching movies. I chose to become a part of the Student Ambassadors Network because politics has always been a thing that I’ve been interested in. I’ve been studying the world of politics and law for a few years now, and am hoping to do something with that, even if it’s just a volunteer opportunity. I’m also interested in history, which goes hand in hand with politics.”


Élisa
Hull-Aylmer, Québec

“Je suis la co-présidente de l’instance municipale dédiée de la ville de Gatineau pour les jeunes, la Commission Jeunesse de Gatineau. Cette commission regroupe 26 jeunes motivés et impliqués voulant changer les idées préconçues sur la jeunesse et dédiée à dynamiser les jeunes de Gatineau. Ce réseau s’implante dans les 13 écoles secondaires de la ville, à raison de deux jeunes sélectionnés par école. Étant la représentante de la motivation, de l’intérêt politique et de l’implication des jeunes au sein de la municipalité, CIVIX est un projet idéal à représenter. Je suis une personne naturellement instruite et politisée d’où mon intérêt pour la politique que ce soit municipal, provincial ou national et même parfois, international. La politique explique le monde dans lequel nous vivons actuellement et la démocratie est un droit nous étant aujourd’hui irréfutable dans la société.”


Maxime
Gaspésie-Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Québec

“J’ai une très grande intérêt à la politique contrairement a beaucoup de jeunes. Je possède moi même ma propre avis sur cette campagne électoral. J’avais même participé au Tournois des jeunes démocrates 2014-2015. À mon avis je serai un parfait Ambassadeur étudiant, parce que, en premier lieu, mes votes ne serait pas faux. Mes votes serait digne d’un parfait citoyen Canadien intéressé et connaisseur de politique. En second lieu, j’aimerais grandement participé à cette campagne qui a comme but d’intéresser les jeunes à la politique et dans un second but, de forger les citoyens futurs.”

 

RobbRobb 
Kings-Hants, Nova Scotia

“My name is Robb Tupper, and I’m very excited to have been invited to participate in the grand forum that is the Student Ambassadors Network. I’ve always been very interested in the political and ideological landscape of Canada, and other countries around the world, and I’ve always especially been obsessed with everyone’s voices being heard. It seems to me like this network is a great way to make that happen, and I’m feeling enthusiastic about this new form of expression.”

 

CarsonCarson
Cypress Hills-Grasslands, Saskatchewan

“For the longest time, the thought of politics bored me to tears. I was quite content to allow the “grown-ups” to deal with the issues and to ensure that our best interests were the priority of the government. But quite recently, I learned that if we, as the future of our country, don’t stand up and voice our concerns, nothing will change. I chose to become a Student Ambassador because I believe that, as of now, the youth of our country does not matter enough to the government and it is our responsibility to remind the government that we, the youth, are the future of this nation, and deserve to be heard.”

 

Katherine
Kitchener Centre
Ontario

“As co-president of my school’s politics club, I am passionate about teaching youth the way that politics affects their lives. I hope to use my role as a CIVIX Student Ambassador to increase political engagement among my peers and raise awareness for issues that are important to youth.”



Tabeena
Scarborough-Agincourt
Ontario

“As a youth myself, I understand that a lot of young people feel like they don’t have a say in the elections. I know this because I used to be one of them. I also know that it is really the furthest thing from the truth. Youth have continuously been disengaged and disregarded in many consecutive elections. For that reason the power that youth actually have has been severely underestimated not only by everyone else, including politicians, but by the youth themselves. I firmly believe that if all young people not only become more educated on, but also more interested in politics then we have the ability to change the future. For that reason, I have decided to become a Student Ambassador. I hope that by engaging others in my own interest for this election, I can also instill a sense of understanding and passion in those around me.”

 

Zachary

Zachary
Winnipeg South Centre, Manitoba

“I have a brother and a sister who are both younger than me. I am interested in sports statistics and pretty much any sport. I like to play baseball and hockey. My favorite subject in school is History. My History teacher is the person who encouraged me to join the Student Ambassador Network. I play Tenor Saxophone in the Senior Jazz Band at my school. I was also involved in the musical that we put on last year, Guys and Dolls. During the summer I enjoy camping with my family and going to camp, hopefully next summer I will be working at camp.”

 

MeganMégan
Gaspésie-Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Québec

“J’ai décidé d’être ambassadeur étudiant car je trouve que ce projet est une excellente idée pour inclure les jeunes dans la politique, de nos jours les jeunes deviennent de moins en moins intéressés par la politique et tous ce qui touche le gouvernement, ceci est un moyen intelligent pour aider a les inclures de plus en plus à la politique.”

“De plus les étudiants sont présentement pour la plus part en court d’histoire et éducation à la citoyenneté, ils sont donc plus informés que certains adultes pour qui le cours d’histoire est bien loin dans leurs mémoire, certain étudiant sont donc plus apte a voté que la plupart des adultes mal informés. Voilà pourquoi je soutient le vote étudiant.”


Vicky-Ann
Gaspésie-Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Québec

“Je voulais être ambassadeur parce que je m’intéresse a la politique et tout ce qui en suit! Je trouve sa intéressant de savoir ce qui se passe dans le pays ou ma province! J’aime bien avoir mon opinion politique et donner mon point de vue.”


Justine
Gaspésie-Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Québec

“J’ai voulu devenir ambassadeur étudiant, car depuis le début de l’année, notre professeur d’histoire nous sensibilisé à la politique. Ce sujet, qui ne m’intéressait pas du tout auparavant, m’intéresse de plus en plus. Aussi, je suis une féministe et une écologiste. J’espère que par le réseau des ambassadeurs étudiants je réussirai à véhiculer mes idées à ce sujet.”



IsabellaIsabella
Victoria, British Columbia

“I have lived in Victoria my whole life and one day wish to run in this riding. I have loved and been interested in politics since my teacher in Grade 3 teacher first uttered the word. She told us all about what our parliament did and what positions it had. Most kids were bored out of their minds, but I sat there eagerly writing notes. Once she mentioned the Prime Minister, I just knew that one day that is what I wanted to be.”

“In that class we ran an election. I ran on the platform of increasing taxes and protecting our oceans, and my opponent promised longer recess. She won. I then formed a coalition with my friends and we formed parliament while my teacher stood there not knowing what to say.”

“I think that getting youth interested and engaged in politics even before they can vote is crucial to making Canada better and more informed. I am really excited to be a Student Ambassador, so I can raise awareness about voting and other issues in Canada.”

 

Callista Callista
West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, British Columbia

“When my Social Justice teacher told me about this I was so excited! I’m involved with British Columbia Youth Parliament (a non-partisan youth organization) and Model United Nations. I think it’s so important to be active and aware of political surroundings. Youth involvement and empowerment is something I’m really passionate about, so having the opportunity to be an Ambassador is very exciting and I hope to learn even more about the election! Another cool thing is that I applied to work at this year’s election as an information officer. I think that will be a really cool experience. Apart from all of that, I live in Squamish, BC where I love to mountain bike, read and plan events. I’ve been in Air Cadets for five years and work at a pizza restaurant. I hope to stay politically involved and study political science or international relations when I go to university.”



LexiLexi
Cypress Hills-Grasslands, Saskatchewan

“I enjoy playing sports. My favourite sport is volleyball, both to play and watch. I also love the outdoors and I will not pass up an opportunity to travel. I am proud to be a Canadian since I am able to explore the country’s beauty from coast to coast. Finally, it wouldn’t hurt to travel the world, complete a university degree, and continue being myself.I was nominated by a couple of my teachers to be a Student Ambassador, I agreed to participate because current events and Canadian politics interest me.”


Nicholas
Edmonton West, Alberta

“I’m interested in everything political! My favourite topics in politics are security, foreign policy and societal issues. I’ve decided to become a Student Ambassador because of my unnaturally strong interest in politics. I found that putting my interest in politics to use would be beneficial for myself and the community.”

 


Nicholas KlidNicholas
Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas, Ontario

“I am primarily interested in social science courses such as economics, law and business studies, but I also enjoy playing lead trumpet in the senior jazz band and wind symphony. I am heavily involved in extracurricular activities and have accumulated in excess of 340 community service hours from participation in the community jazz band, volunteering at the Oakville Public Library and at various school events. My favourite extracurricular activity would be Model UN mainly because I enjoy debating foreign policy and researching issues ranging from humanitarian crises to military strategy. Since joining the team in grade eight, I have progressed and grown as a delegate which is why I am currently one of two Co-Head Delegates of the HSC Model United Nations team which has been my goal since joining the team in middle school. In regards to sports, I play recreational ice hockey year-round and enjoy playing as part of a team which has helped build my teamwork skills and develop good sportsmanship attributes.”

“I was particularly interested in taking on the role as Student Ambassador for my school because I am passionate about politics and am looking to better understand Canada’s electoral system. Since assuming this prestigious leadership role, I have enjoyed working with dedicated and passionate classmates that have supported me and have kept the vote running smoothly which is imperative to ensuring that students are engaged and participate in the vote. I am becoming increasingly excited as Election Day approaches and I look forward to educating students about the importance of voting and being involved in Canada’s democracy.”

 

MatveiMatvei
Willowdale, Ontario

“I enjoy every subject in school and am extremely curious about Space, History and Politics.  I feed my curiosities through many different sources, my family, books and the world wide web.  Discussing Space with my Physicist Grandfather or Politics with my Father have always been great wonders for me since an early age.  When learning a new topic or analyzing a concept I always look to review and understand multiple different perspectives so that I can reduce biases and come up with my own opinion, or in simple terms seeing the world through many different lenses.  I have chosen to become a Student Ambassador so that I can be an active member of the political community, be helpful to my local community and an inspiration to not only my generation but future ones too.”  

 

 

NicoleNicole
North Okanagan-Shuswap, British Columbia

“I usually spend most of my time reading or writing. I chose to become a Student Ambassador because I thought it would be a great opportunity to be more involved.”

 

 

SadiaSadia
Steveston-Richmond East, British Columbia

“My favourite thing to do on rainy days is to read books upon books. I love books because one can very easily escape in them, and they take you places you never thought you would go. During sunny days, I love hanging out with my friends and family. One can say that I am an eager beaver. I love helping people out and working hard. Similarly, I am ambitious too. When I set my mind toward achieving something, I push until I have my goals. More importantly, I enjoy the simple things in life. I feel that being happy is a state of mind, and I don’t think people should settle for less than they deserve.”

“I have chosen to become a Student Ambassador because I am one of those people who is not afraid to voice their thoughts and express their opinions. I think I should have a say in who is going to become the leader of my country. I may not be able to vote in this election, but I would still like to articulate who I want the Prime Minister of Canada to be.”

 

EvanEvan
Beauséjour, New Brunswick

I have chose to become a Student Ambassador not only for my love for politics, but also because [politics] runs in my family. My grandfather ran for premier of New Brunswick in 1970s.”

 


Katherine
Kitchener Centre, Ontario

“I have been involved in several community events to protest against the Line 9 pipeline, walked with the First Nations people to tell the world about their struggles, and am a committed volunteer to the Kitchener-Waterloo Poetry Slam (KWPS) with my older sister, the co-founder of the Poetry Slam. I have chosen to become a Student Ambassador because I want to hear more talk about politics in our student community and talk about more serious issues with my friends and classmates.”

 

Olivia Olivia
Oxford, Ontario

“I am a member of Student Council and I co-run the Healthy Schools Club at my school. Law and Politics are very important to me. I think it’s very important for people to learn about the candidates in their riding and to be informed on who they could be voting for. I became a CIVIX Student Ambassador because I want to create good voting habits in future voters so that when they are able to vote, they will be informed and they will continue to vote in the future.” 

 

EsmeraldaEsmeralda
Edmonton West, Alberta

“I am of full Latin descent and am a first-generation Canadian in my family. I have a passion for social studies and politics, planning to pursue a career in this. This year I have chosen to be part of the Student Vote process and a Student Ambassador in my school. I decided to step up to the plate this time around because of my want for change. Everyone has a voice, and I wanted to make mine heard. My parents left their home countries because of a civil war and poverty. I’ve been raised with a love and gratefulness for my home country. I know and have seen all the good it has done for millions of families seeking help and refuge. I want to help the students in my school to get involved and practice voting for a new future in Canada.”

 

SydneySydney     
Langley-Aldergrove, British Columbia

“Activities I love partaking in include hiking, reading, travelling, photography, and spending time with friends and family. I am also passionate about the government and Canadian politics, which is why I chose to participate in the CIVIX Student Ambassador Network. I believe that it is important for youth to be aware of their country’s government system and who their leader is. The CIVIX program is great for involving teenagers in politics and the election, which is why I was so excited when I had the opportunity to become a Student Ambassador.”                

 

Maddie 
Winnipeg South Centre, Manitoba

“I am a lover of coffee, learning new things, basketball and adventures. I first heard about the Student Ambassador program from my Canadian History teacher. I thought it sounded like a really neat opportunity and decided to find out more about it. What really drew me to the program is the fact that the lowest demographic of voters are the youngest people in Canada. I think if while we’re still in high school we learn more about the election and voting process, it will encourage students to vote. That is why I got involved.”



Anna MiedemaAnna 
Kitchener Centre, Ontario

“I chose to be a Student Ambassador because even though i’m not 18 and can’t officially vote yet, I still want my voice heard. I also want other young people to realize the incredible gift we have here in Canada that we are even allowed to vote. Many people around the world would give anything to have this opportunity. Since we are privileged enough to be able to vote, I believe it is everyone’s responsibility to do so! I strongly believe that a better tomorrow starts today. Decisions are being made today by our government that will affect the world that we will grow up and live in. I say no one is ever too young to have their voice heard so I choose to start now and help elect leaders what will make our country be the best it can possibly be.”

 

Grace FriesenGrace 
Winnipeg North, Manitoba

“I have chosen to become a Student Ambassador because I want the voices of youth to be heard in politics. Also I just really love politics!”

 

 

Méganne
Gaspésie-Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Québec

“On m’a demandé de me décrire en quelques mots: les gens disent de moi que je suis une personne impliquée qui aime faire de son milieu, un endroit plaisant mais surtout, facile à vivre. Étant député du parlement étudiant de mon école, je considère important de promouvoir la démocratie auprès des jeunes. Je pense sincèrement que nous ( les adolescents ) pouvons faire la différence et ainsi changer les choses! Pour terminer, je trouve dommage qu’encore aujourd’hui, plusieurs jeunes ne s’intéressent aucunement  à la politique et je suis heureuse de fair partie d’un organisme comme celui-ci, qui veille à la rendre interessante pour nous citoyens à en devenir.”

 

Raphaelle

Raphaëlle
Carleton, Ontario

“Curieuse et passionnée de la vie, elle s’est découvert une nouvelle passion pour la vie politique. Engagée et sportive, elle adore être au courant de se qui se passe dans le monde. De plus, elles adore travailler avec les enfants.”

“Je voulais être une ambassadrice étudiante puisque j’ai beaucoup d’opinion sur la politique mais, nulle part je me sens à l’aise de les partager. De plus, il s’agit d’une chance plutôt hors du commun que je ne voulais pas laisser passer.”

 

Jean-Christophe

Jean-Christophe
Gaspésie-Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Québec

“Je m’intéresse à la politique et je vais participer au vote étudiant avec ma classe. Je voulais être un ambassadeur pour m’impliquer plus et surtout en apprendre plus sur la politique et donner mon avis sur les élections.”

 

 

DariaDaria 
Mississauga-Lakeshore, Ontario

“As a Russian, I know something about unfair elections. In my home country, the biggest problem that elections face is the percentage of people who actually show up to vote. In Moscow there was recently an election for the new mayor and only 31% of legal voters showed up. A similar thing happened during our last election for the President of Russia. Only a little over half of the eligible population actually voted. This causes another major problem: a lot of times the people who hold the election in certain areas will take the votes of the people who did not show up and just mark their votes by themselves (most probably to the same party we have ruling right now).”

“The other problem is how often superiors make people who work under them in the big companies vote for the party that the company wants to win. Those workers are usually threatened by firing and, because they live in such poor areas of Russia, they might simply not find another job. So, in order to feed their families, they will do what they are told to do. These are not just some stories without any proof – how often do you see a 70% vote in favor of just one party in a fair election?”

“This is the reason that I wanted to become a Student Ambassador – to decrease the chance of this situation happening in any other elections anywhere in the world. This unfairness affects not only the people of my country. If those elections had gone differently and fairly, perhaps there wouldn’t be a crisis in Ukraine as there is now. Perhaps, all those people would not suffer from the Civil War that is happening in the Eastern Ukraine. But for now, all I can do is hope that the next Russian election will be more just. I will make sure that nothing like this ever happens in Canada by educating my fellow peers about how the just elections are done and how the right to vote is also a responsibility.”

 

ArousheyAroushey 
Mississauga-Erin Mills, Ontario

“I thought it would be fun to join the Student Ambassador Network because I have a huge interest in politics and also don’t feel like youth get involved as much as we should. Thus, I felt that this would be a beginning for me to meet people with similar interests as mine and hopefully get more people involved and interested in the topic.”

 


Lia LeeLia 
West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, British Columbia

“My passion for politics, international relations, and social justice emerged from various experiences with Model United Nations. Over the past years, I’ve learned to appreciate education and opportunities – starting from joining Kindlers Society Organization to hosting the All-Candidates’ Meeting for my local schools, I strongly believe that it is extremely important to encourage youth to participate and engage more within the society. The combination of my passions and beliefs has resulted in the curiosity of understanding social dynamics. Politics is at the core of social dynamics – it’s everywhere. Whether one is going to school or simply conversing in a group of friends, politics exists in the complex and diverse ecosystem of ideas, desires, and communication. My curiosity has been my motivation to work hard, learn, and grow to become the person that I desire to be. Moreover, the CIVIX Student Ambassador role is a great step towards reaching the peak of a very tall mountain that I wish to reach.”

 

AidanAidan 
Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River, Saskatchewan

“My name is Aidan von Holwede and am currently enrolled in Spiritwood High School as a Grade 12 student. I am majorly into video games, piano, guitar, and various other forms of music. My history teacher approached me one afternoon and asked if I had any major engagements that needed attending. When I answered no, he then proposed that I should become one of our Student Ambassadors for the upcoming student election. I had always wished to learn more about politics and the issues in our everyday lives, so I accepted his gracious offer. I am hoping that this experience will allow me to learn the business aspect of politics.”

 

MariaMaria 
Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River, Saskatchewan

“I decided to become a Student Ambassador when my history  teacher approached us. I made this decision because I want to be involved in this step, which shapes the future of our country. I wanted to help our student body see how these elections are important and I want to have a hand in helping in the polls. I am very excited for our Student Vote and hope to be able to make a difference to the students and how they view elections.”

 

SimonneSimonne 
Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge, British Columbia

“I love to play all kinds of sports, especially dance, soccer, track and field, and triathlon. My parents have taught me about politics from a young age, but I know not every kid gets that opportunity so I chose to become a Student Ambassador and help teach the people around me about how to make a difference.”

 

Muntaha
Richmond Hill, Ontario

“I have chosen to become a Student Ambassador because it will be a new experience for me and this election is interesting with the variety of perspectives on different party platforms, such as raising or lowering taxes. This makes it harder for me to decide who would I vote for this election, and also this could be the first time I could be voting for a Prime Minister (through Student Vote) as I grew up in a country that was ruled by a monarchy for nearly my entire life.”

 

 Océanne
Gaspésie-Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Québec

“Je m’intéresse à la politique parce que je trouve fondamental le fait que nous, les jeunes, s’informons et s’instruisons à ce niveau qui est, en d’autres mots, la base de notre avenir. La politique peut sembler difficile d’analyse et la compréhension de celle-ci peut paraitre insensé pour cause des différentes façon de procéder mais c’est le même principe que n’importe quel jeu dialectique donc je me suis dit que ce ne doit pas être si difficile. Je trouve que peu de gens s’en intéresse donc je veux en apprendre davantage, me cultiver et m’instruire. C’est pour cette raison que je me suis inscrite. J’ai 15 ans, je viens de la Gaspésie, plus précisément à l’extrémité de la Baie des Chaleurs et je m’intéresse de plus en plus à l’histoire depuis l’année passée. Merci!”

 

Aaisha
Scarborough-Agincourt

I am a writer. I like to write anything from journalist reports, to poetry, to speeches. In my free time I like to listen to music, discover the city around me and document it all along the way. I enjoy examining society and what we have come to collectively and individually. In my work I also like to see how we can create stronger human bonds, eliminate inequality, and educate each other, which is exactly why I was drawn to this Student Ambassador opportunity.  A few issues I feel very strongly about are women’s rights, racism and prejudice against people of color, the economy and global poverty. Anderson Cooper is also such an important role model to me and I look up to him in so much of the work I do, often asking WWACD (What would Anderson Cooper Do)? I’m looking forward to where this opportunity takes my fellow classmates and I, and I am ready for it as I know this only the beginning. 

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