Advertisement
Politics

‘Holders of our future’: N.S. high school students to vote in mock federal election

WATCH: High school students in Eastern Passage engage in the federal election process by participating in a candidates forum.

With a full gymnasium before them, three federal candidates running in the Sackville-Preston-Chezzetcook riding gave high school students an opportunity to engage in Canada’s election.

With a series of student-written questions on hand, student moderators Kaileigh Waugh and Josie Vaughan set the stage for their peers to gain insight into the democratic process.

“We like to stay on top and know what is going on within our community and, eventually, we’ll be able to vote in a year or so,” Vaughan said.

Tweet This
Three of the five candidates for Sackville-Preston-Chezzetcook answered questions from students during the forum.
Three of the five candidates for Sackville-Preston-Chezzetcook answered questions from students during the forum. Alexa MacLean/Global Halifax

The Island View High School Candidate Forum is part of a nationwide initiative to engage youth in conversations around government and the Canadian electoral system.

Story continues below advertisement

“I find this pretty interesting just to see what people our age think of elections and politics,” Waugh said.

READ MORE: ‘Think about platforms’ — Halifax PhD students chime in ahead of election debate

Anthony Edmonds of the Green Party of Canada, Darrell Samson of the Liberal Party of Canada and Matt Stickland of the New Democratic Party of Canada participated in the forum.

Kevin Copely of the Tories did not attend the event due to scheduling conflicts, while Sybil Hogg of the People’s Party of Canada was set to take part before cancelling on Wednesday afternoon.

Saint John area election debate hears calls for format change, questions from the floor
Saint John area election debate hears calls for format change, questions from the floor

There was a buzz of excitement in the air as the youth considered how the experience may shape their future voting habits.

“I know that we are the holders of our future,” said Bryson Neish, 16.

“We got to have more responsibility in that.”

Tweet This

The forum is the first step in what will lead to a mock election for high school students across the country. Next week, over 9,000 schools will participate in Student Vote Canada 2019.

The program aims to give future voters firsthand experience with the voting process and an opportunity to become as informed as possible about candidates in their riding before casting their ballot.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Canada election — Sackville–Preston–Chezzetcook

“Some of the student questions that we [received] mainly include foster care system, recent climate strikes and just some basics to know about politics because since they’re going to be able to vote soon, they want to know the basics,” Waugh said.

Student Vote takes place Oct. 15 to 18.