Looks as the future will be in good hands


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 14/09/2021 (375 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

I recently had an opportunity to sit down with a future voter to talk politics – not so much about the parties and their respective candidates – but his passion for politics, what drives it, andabout  the importance of voting.

Matthew Sévigny is a 16-year-old Grade 11 student at Vincent Massey Collegiate with strong opinions gained from living in five different provinces.

He sees that experience as having given him “a vast diversification of views from the Maritimes to the very different politics of Quebec, Ontario and the conservative ones of Alberta.”  

Debbie Ristimaki Matthew Sévigny, a 16-year-old Grade 11 student at Vincent Massey Collegiate, recently chatted with correspondent Debbie Ristimaki about Canadian politics.

He is fascinated to see how, in his words, “the thought process varies from region to region within the same country.”

Matthew goes on to say that, “Politics for me are important because a lot of the decisons that are made by the politicians both municipal, provincial and federal would really affect the future of not just me but a lot of people younger than me and my age. We are becoming the decision-makers of the future.”

Having joined a party in November 2020 (we did not delve into his personal politics), Matthew hopes to lend his support by volunteering at some point in the future. For now, he continues to follow the ongoing campaign and is always ready to discuss the issues – either at home or at school with his peers.

He recognizes that some people will agree with him and his views and others will not but also that it is never personal. Overall, he is able to separate the politics from the person except when it comes to human rights. For him, there is a line there that cannot be crossed.

What’s top of mind for Matthew? Climate change and the destruction of our planet. Should the opportunity arise, the first question that he would ask each candidate would be about their plans to reduce carbon emissions – not just for big producers but for everyday Canadians as well.

Let’s hope that opportunity presents itself one day.

Along the way, I forgot I was chatting with a high school student. If tomorrow’s leaders are as passionate and interested in the future of the country as Matthew, we are in good hands.

The federal election is Mon., Sept. 20.  Your assigned polling station can be found on your voter information card and, if you are voting by mail, your ballot must be returned by election day.

Debbie Ristimaki

Debbie Ristimaki
Bridgwater Forest community correspondent

Debbie Ristimaki is a community correspondent for Bridgwater Forest.

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