The federal election may be over, but are Millennials really getting any representation in parliament?
Daily Hive teamed up with the Forum for Millennial Leadership (FML) — a non-partisan organization that works to elect Millennials regardless of party, ideology, or level of government — to find out.
According to FML founder Gavin Dew, the 2019 election represented an incremental but significant step in the right direction for the representation of Millennials in Parliament. Generation X, meanwhile, saw a major boom in its representation, as the number of Baby Boomers was reduced.
“Millennials, who make up 35% of the eligible voters in Canada, went from holding 13% of the seats in Parliament to 17%,” said Dew. “In a few places, there was more significant growth, like in BC where we went from bad to, well, less bad. In BC we had just one MP under 40 before the election and now we have four, with all three major national parties covered off.”
FML found a total of 58 Millennials were elected in 2019 out of a total 338 (FML does estimate on some candidates as age is not required to be public knowledge).
We connected with some of Canada’s Millennial MPs to find out more about why they ran and the change they want to achieve over their time in office.
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Meet Jenica Atwin
Riding: Fredericton, New Brunswick
Party: Green Party of Canada
What motivated you to run?
My children’s future.
What made you a supporter of your party?
Top concerns are the environment, mental health, and Indigenous rights, which were well represented by my party.
What obstacles or opportunities were different for you as a younger candidate?
People being concerned about my level of experience.
How did you connect with young voters in your riding?
We worked very hard to connect with the universities in the riding with student staff and tons of campus engagement events, also various social media platforms and attending public debates held by student unions.
Why does it matter to have equal representation from younger Canadians in government?
With the rapidly changing world, we need a multitude of perspectives including those from younger Canadians. The climate crisis requires us to think both short term and long term; Millennials, in particular, are excellently situated to speak about both arenas. We also need to understand the changing communications and employment landscape. Quite frankly, “the game” has changed.
What are you hoping to achieve during your term in office?
I want to change the face of politics so that constituents have faith in their representatives again. I want to deliver on the commitments I made during the campaign and uplift people with hope and inspiration for a better future.
What advice would you give to young people considering getting involved in politics?
Never let anyone tell you that you can’t or shouldn’t or that you don’t belong. We have a voice and a vision for the future that matters.