WATCH ABOVE: Articulate 18-year-old makes her case for why she should be elected mayor of Toronto.
TORONTO – Toronto’s mayoral race is about to get a serious injection of youth with the addition of 18-year-old Morgan Baskin joining the likes of Rob Ford, John Tory and Karen Stintz in the race for the city’s top job.
“I want to be the mayor of Toronto,” said the student attending Inglenook Community High School located in the city’s Corktown neighbourhood.
“Unlike a lot of adults, I’m willing to say when I’m wrong, I’m willing to admit, ‘Ok, I don’t know how to do this. Let’s ask someone who knows.’ And not pretend I know it all.”
Baskin filed her nomination papers at city hall on Feb. 28 and managed to pay for the registration process through her babysitting gigs.
Unlike many of the candidates currently in the race, the Toronto teenager is considered politically left-of-centre with many of her values coming from growing up with four adults.
“I have two trans gay dads as well as my parents,” she said.
But when it comes to policies, she has her eyes firmly set on changing the culture at city hall, first and foremost.
“My first jokey quip is to say group therapy, but I think there is truth in that. That conversations and connecting on a personal level often solve bigger issues,” Baskin said.
“We need to figure out how to deal with the reminisce of amalgamation, healing the fact that we’re currently dividing the suburban and urban.”
The teen has already launched a rough outline of her election platform on her website, with transportation as the top priority.
“A downtown relief line feels like a must, as does improving better services to the edges of our city,” Baskin wrote on her website.
Baskin also prefers to differentiate herself from the current mayor by being more diplomatic in her leadership approach.
“I will make being mayor about serving city councillors the best way they can as opposed to top down style leadership.”
Despite the odds, Baskin is confident she’ll be able to make an impact on the campaign trail and isn’t too worried about detractors dwelling on her inexperience.
“Yeah, I think it’s a possibility. We elected someone who’s done a whole bunch of illegal things, why not elect someone who is 18.”
-With a report from Globlal News’ Peter Kim