Inspiring Young People to Make A Change Through Politics

This past Monday, the Federal election was held and the Liberal Party declared their win. Prior to the voting day, ESBGC partnered with SCAN (Scarborough Civic Action Network) to host an event called, YOUTH VOTES. We wanted to give the youth the opportunity to pick the brains of some of the electoral candidates for the Scarborough Village Riding. After meeting with a few youth and having only one candidate from the Green Party come out to the event, it raised the question “Why?” – why are youth not interested in coming out to events related to politics, and why does it seem as though the voice of the youth is not important to our electoral system?

SCAN is an organization that focuses on networking agencies, community groups, and residents to improve our communities through civic engagement. They are working to uncover how they can get more youth involved and doing work such as creating youth councils, in order to raise awareness on youth issues. Through this form of action, they believe, the youth, can have a better relationship with politics and make a difference.


When youth are in high school they are expected to take half of a credit to learn about our electoral system, and the operation of politics. When the youth at the Meet and Greet were asked how much they remembered from the class, not many could vouch that the half semester curriculum made a significant difference in their life decisions. After your half credit is earned, you no longer have to fulfill any other requirements regarding topics related to the government.

In the last federal election, 2015, there was only a 50% civic engagement rate by youth age 18-22. In 2019, if you are 14, in 2023, you will be eligible to vote in the next federal election. Any youth from 15-17 now will 100% be able to vote in the next federal election.

Looking long term on how your commitment to understanding politics impacts your future is a very important conversation. Have you ever heard the quote “the decisions you make now, impact your future”? That’s the reality.


SCAN aims to understand the decisions leaders are focusing on now, so you know what to be aware of in the next campaign. Dedicating energy into supporting or opposing ideas helps to make an impact whether you have the authority to vote or not. Going to events held by political parties can allow you to voice your opinion about issues in your community that need a makeover. By getting out and speaking up, it is opening doors to issues you are passionate about. SCAN believes that supporting youth throughout this path is the first step to a true impact.

“We need to get more youth involved. They have a powerful voice, and they are not heard enough in political settings. They have great ideas, we just need to give them the opportunity.”

says Howard Moriah, Senior Manager of Youth & Community Outreach Services at ESBGC.

Each and every federal election discusses topics that have a direct impact on the way you, a young adult, live your life. This can include: transit costs, post-secondary education options, or the after school programs you attend. In order to understand your effectiveness in the campaign, it is important to develop the ideas around the issues that upset you in your community. Break it down. Is there something you want to change in your community? The options are limitless.