Transcript: Ontario's Youngest Candidates | Jun 02, 2021

Steve sits in a room with white walls, a low slanted ceiling and several framed pictures on the walls including one of George Drew. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a white shirt and a black tie.

A caption on screen reads "Ontario's youngest political candidates. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says ONE YEAR FROM TODAY, ONTARIANS WILL GO TO THE POLLS FOR THE PROVINCE'S 43rd GENERAL ELECTION. THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE HUNDREDS OF CANDIDATES SEEKING YOUR VOTE WILL BE IN THEIR 40s, 50s, AND 60s. BUT A FEW WILL BE YOUNG. VERY YOUNG. AND WE THOUGHT YOU'D LIKE TO MEET SOME OF THE YOUNGEST CANDIDATES TO FIND OUT WHY THEY WANT YOUR VOTE. AND SO, WE WELCOME: IN SMITHVILLE, ONTARIO: SAM OOSTERHOFF, THE YOUNGEST MPP IN ONTARIO HISTORY. HE GOT ELECTED 4 and a half YEARS AGO AT AGE 19. HE'S THE PC MEMBER FOR NIAGARA WEST AND STILL THAT PARTY'S YOUNGEST CANDIDATE ON OFFER...

Sam is in his twenties, clean-shaven, with short blond hair. He's wearing glasses and a gray shirt.

Steve continues IN BELLEVILLE, ONTARIO: EMILIE LENEVEU, SHE IS THE YOUNGEST CANDIDATE RUNNING FOR THE LIBERALS. SHE'S 23 AND SEEKING ELECTION IN THE BAY OF QUINTE...

Emilie is in her twenties, with auburn hair in a bun. She's wearing a cream blazer.

Steve continues IN MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO: ABHIJEET MANAY, HE'S THE 31-YEAR-OLD DEPUTY LEADER OF THE GREEN PARTY, THAT PARTY'S YOUNGEST CANDIDATE, AND RUNNING IN BEACHES-EAST YORK...

Abhijeet is in his twenties, with short dark hair and a stubble. He's wearing a white shirt and a green tie.

Steve continues FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH, WE ASKED THE NDP TO OFFER UP THEIR YOUNGEST CANDIDATE, BUT THEY DIDN'T. BUT WE'RE DELIGHTED TO HAVE YOU THREE HERE. JUST FOR THE RECORD HERE, I'M TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHICH OF THE THREE OF YOU IS ACTUALLY... EMILIE, WHO IS THE YOUNGEST PERSON HERE?

Emilie says WELL, I'D LIKE TO SAY IT'S MYSELF, BUT I THINK SAM BEATS ME BY 20 DAYS. MY BIRTHDAY IS AUGUST 23RD AND HIS HIS 20TH OR SOMETHING.

Sam says 22nd. VERY CLOSE.

Emilie says HE BEATS ME BY A FEW DAYS.

Steve says SAM, YOU HAVE DONE ALREADY WHAT THE OTHER TWO HOPE TO DO AND THAT IS NAMELY GET ELECTED. I WANT TO TAKE YOU BACK FOUR AND A HALF YEARS WHEN YOU WENT TO PEOPLE IN YOUR RIDING AND SAID, YES, I'M 19 YEARS OLD AND I WANT TO RUN FOR PROVINCIAL PARLIAMENT. WHAT'S THE GENERAL REACTION YOU RAN INTO?

The caption changes to "Sam Oosterhoff. PC MPP for Niagara West."

Sam says THERE WAS SURPRISE BUT THERE WAS DEFINITELY ALSO ENCOURAGEMENT. PEOPLE REALLY BELIEVE THAT IT'S IMPORTANT WE HAVE A WIDE DIVERSITY OF PERSPECTIVES AROUND THE TABLE IN POLITICS. AND OFTEN WHAT I GOT FROM PEOPLE WAS A RESPONSE OF SAYING I WOULDN'T WANT TO SEE A LEGISLATURE FULL OF 19-YEAR-OLDS, BUT I ALSO WOULDN'T WANT TO SEE A LEGISLATURE FULL OF 80-YEAR-OLDS. IT'S IMPORTANT TO HAVE PEOPLE FROM EVERY WALK OF LIFE REPRESENTED IN THE LEGISLATURE, PEOPLE FROM EVERY BACKGROUND, AND I SPOKE WITH A LOT OF PEOPLE AND ASSURED THEM THAT I WOULD BE ADVOCATING FOR THEIR CONCERNS AND THEIR INTERESTS, AND THAT'S SOMETHING THAT I STILL BELIEVE IS VERY, VERY IMPORTANT, ESPECIALLY AS A YOUNG PERSON, TO ENSURE THAT WHEN YOU ARE GOING INTO ELECTED OFFICE, YOU'RE THERE TO REPRESENT THE CONCERNS OF THE PEOPLE THAT YOU'RE ADVOCATING FOR, AND NOT JUST COMING AT IT AS THOUGH YOU HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS. I ALWAYS SAID, YOU KNOW, YOU MIGHT BE YOUNG BUT YOU HAVE TO WORK TWICE AS HARD AS THE NEXT PERSON TO GET AHEAD. IN THAT CASE IT MEANS YOU LISTEN TO GOOD ADVICE AND YOU PAY VERY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE WISDOM OF THOSE WHO HAVE GONE BEFORE YOU.

Steve says A BRIEF FOLLOW-UP. HAD ANYONE IN YOUR FAMILY EVER RUN FOR OFFICE BEFORE?

Sam says NO, NOT IN MY IMMEDIATE FAMILY, NO.

Steve says SO WHERE WOULD YOU GET THE NOTION THAT THIS WAS SOMETHING THAT SOMEBODY THAT YOUNG COULD DO?

The caption changes to "Sam Oosterhoff, @samoosterhoff."

Sam says WELL, A LOT OF IT CAME FROM SEEING SOME OF THE GREAT PEOPLE THROUGHOUT HISTORY WHO HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO RUN AND MAKE A GREAT DEAL OF DIFFERENCE AT A YOUNG AGE. I THINK OF COURSE OF WINSTON CHURCHILL, WHO IF MY MEMORY SERVES ME CORRECTLY, WAS ONLY 26 WHEN HE WAS ELECTED. OF COURSE, WILLIAM WHICH WILL BETTER FORCE... WILBERFORCE, AN ABOLITIONIST, A MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT IN ENGLAND. AND BOTH OF THOSE MEN WENT ON TO ACCOMPLISH A GREAT DEAL IN THEIR RESPECTIVE PARLIAMENTS. SO I THINK WE SEE THROUGHOUT HISTORY THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE ABLE TO STEP FORWARD AND CONTRIBUTE IN POWERFUL WAYS. HERE IN ONTARIO AS WELL, THERE HAVE BEEN YOUNG MPPs IN THE PAST LOOKING AT THE CCF, FOR EXAMPLE. THEY ELECTED A YOUNG MEMBER, SCOTT REED, I BELIEVE HIS NAME WAS. SO IT'S POSSIBLE TO MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE. BUT AGAIN TO REPRESENT THE PEOPLE THAT YOU'RE FIGHTING FOR, TO HEAR WHAT THEY ARE SPEAKING ABOUT AND TO BRING THOSE CONCERNS FORWARD IS THE TOP PRIORITY.

Steve says EMILIE, YOU'RE 23, AS WE ALREADY ESTABLISHED. WHY DOES A 23-YEAR-OLD WANT TO RUN FOR PROVINCIAL PARLIAMENT IN THE BAY OF QUINTE?

The caption changes to "Emilie Leneveu. Liberal Candidate for Bay of Quinte."

Emilie says I THINK FIRST AND FOREMOST TO SAM'S POINT IT'S SO IMPORTANT THAT WE AMPLIFY ALL VOICES THAT ARE MARGINALIZED, NOT JUST THE YOUTH VOTE, AND WE ARE REPRESENTING EVERYONE IN OUR RIDING AND ALL OF OUR CONSTITUENTS. THAT BEING SAID I DO ALSO WANT TO BRING THAT YOUTH LENS. I'M SO EXCITED TO HOPEFULLY BRING MORE OF A YOUTH LENS TO PARLIAMENT. AND I THINK IT'S SO IMPERATIVE AGAIN THAT WE'RE AMPLIFYING THE VOICES OF ALL OF OUR YOUTH. I'M EXCITED TO BRING THE AUDACITY OF INEXPERIENCE. IT'S IMPORTANT WE WORK TWICE AS HARD AND WE KNOW THAT WE ARE KIND OF I GUESS BEHIND WHEN IT COMES TO EXPERIENCE BUT WE HAVE THE AUDACITY OF BEING A LITTLE BIT INEXPERIENCED AND INNOVATIVE AND WANTING TO REALLY EFFECT CHANGE. SO I THINK IT'S A REALLY EXCITING TIME TO BE A YOUNG PERSON IN POLITICS AND IT'S DEFINITELY SOMETHING I'VE BEEN THINKING OF FROM A YOUNG AGE MYSELF. I REMEMBER LEARNING ABOUT THE POLITICAL SYSTEM I THINK SOMETHING LIKE GRADE 3, AND JUST KNOWING THAT I WANTED TO SOMEHOW ENTER THAT REALM. SO IT'S DEFINITELY AN EXCITING TIME.

Steve says ANYONE IN YOUR FAMILY EVER RUN BEFORE?

Emilie says I BELIEVE MY GRANDFATHER ACTUALLY RAN. IF I'M NOT MISTAKEN, HE RAN FOR COUNCIL, FOR A COUNCILLOR IN AJAX, AND THEN HE DID ALSO RUN, I BELIEVE IT WAS PROVINCIALLY AS WELL BUT FOR THE NDP IN AJAX AS WELL. AND IF I'M NOT MISTAKEN, HE GOT SECOND OR THIRD.

Steve says HOW LONG AGO WOULD THAT HAVE BEEN?

Emilie says OOH, GOOD QUESTION. I THINK SOMETHING LIKE 50 OR 60 YEARS AGO NOW? OR MAYBE A LITTLE LESS? SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 40 AND 50 YEARS.

Steve says SO A LONG TIME SINCE ANYONE IN YOUR FAMILY HAS GONE FOR IT. ANYONE IN YOUR FAMILY TRY TO TALK YOU OUT OF THIS, LIKE SAY "EMILIE, WHY BOTHER?"

The caption changes to "Emilie Leneveu, @EmilieLeneveu."

Emilie says I WOULDN'T SAY TALK ME OUT OF IT. I DID RECEIVE A LITTLE BIT OF HESITATION IN THAT EVERYONE IN MY FAMILY OBVIOUSLY WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT I WAS READY AND I WAS IN A GOOD PLACE TO STEP UP TO THE PLATE. I MEAN, MENTAL HEALTH IS SO IMPORTANT AND BEING A YOUNGER CANDIDATE, THAT'S SOMETHING THAT I'M REALLY FOCUSED ON. EVERYONE WAS DEFINITELY SUPPORTIVE AND JUST WANTING TO MAKE SURE I WAS READY. BUT I THINK IT WAS TIME TO ANSWER THE CALL. SO, AGAIN, I'M REALLY EXCITED.

Steve says ABHIJEET, I KNOW YOUR GRANDFATHER WAS A MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT BACK IN INDIA, AND I WONDER HOW INFLUENTIAL HIS EXAMPLE WAS FOR YOU IN YOUR WANTING TO STAND FOR PROVINCIAL PARLIAMENT HERE?

The caption changes to "Abhijeet Manay. Green Candidate for Beaches-East York. @AbhijeetMonet."

Abhijeet says IT WAS A CRUCIAL EXAMPLE THAT ACTUALLY GOT ME INTO POLITICS OR INTERESTED IN POLITICS IN THE FIRST PLACE, BECAUSE HE WAS ONE OF THE FIRST PARLIAMENTARIANS, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, IN INDIA'S PARLIAMENT POST-INDEPENDENCE FROM THE BRITISH EMPIRE. HE WAS ALSO ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN THE INDEPENDENCE MOVEMENT ITSELF. BUT HE WAS ALSO THE KIND OF PARLIAMENTARIAN WHO WAS IN IT FOR THE RIGHT REASONS. HE BELONGED TO A GENERATION WHO DID THAT, WHO REALLY STOOD UP FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUES. HE OFTEN WORKED FOR THE SO-CALLED LOW CASTE IN INDIA AND HELPED ESTABLISH VILLAGES FOR THEM BECAUSE THEY WERE BEING OSTRACIZED. HE ALSO HELPED THE POOR SECTIONS OF THE CITY OF MUMBAI AS WELL BY BUILDING BRIDGES AND ROADS FOR THEM. HE NEVER REALLY TALKED ABOUT HIS ACCOMPLISHMENTS WITH FAMILY. WE ONLY LEARNT ABOUT THESE THINGS AFTER HE PASSED AWAY FROM WELL-WISHERS AND SUPPORTERS. SO THAT REAL EXAMPLE OF WHAT SERVICE, WHAT DUTY IS SUPPOSED TO BE, WHAT POLITICS IS SUPPOSED TO BE, HE EXEMPLIFIED THAT EVERY SINGLE DAY AND HIS EXAMPLE INSPIRES ME TO CONTINUE THAT LEGACY.

Steve says OKAY. HAVING SAID ALL THAT, ANYBODY HERE TRY TO TALK YOU OUT OF RUNNING?

The caption changes to "Abhijeet Manay. Green Party of Ontario Deputy Leader."

Abhijeet says I MEAN, MY... I THINK THE BIGGEST VOICE INSIDE MY HEAD WHO WAS DISSUADING ME FROM RUNNING WAS MY OWN BECAUSE I HAD SEEN WHAT POLITICS IS. IT'S A LOT OF SACRIFICE. IT'S A LOT OF... MY UNCLE, UP UNTIL RECENTLY, WAS ALSO AN MLA IN MUMBAI. SO I'VE SEEN WHAT TOLL IT CAN TAKE ON YOUR PERSONAL LIFE, ON EVERYONE AROUND YOU. AND SO THAT WAS I THINK THE BIGGEST FACTOR. BUT WHEN... I JOINED THE GREEN PARTY BECAUSE I BELIEVE THE CLIMATE EMERGENCY IS THE BIGGEST FACING HUMANKIND UP UNTIL NOW. AND SO WHEN THE CALL TO DUTY IS THAT STRONG, I THINK A LITTLE SACRIFICE GOES A LONG WAY.

Steve says SAM, I WANT YOU TO PICK UP THE STORY HERE, IF YOU WOULD, AND THAT IS A LOT OF OLDER PEOPLE THINK THAT YEARS AND YEARS OF EXPERIENCE, LIFE EXPERIENCE, POLITICAL EXPERIENCE, IS IMPORTANT TO BRING INTO POLITICS BEFORE YOU STAND FOR OFFICE. AND OBVIOUSLY THE THREE OF YOU, BEFORE YOU ALL RAN FOR THE FIRST TIME, HAD VERY LITTLE LIFE EXPERIENCE AND VERY LITTLE POLITICAL EXPERIENCE. IN WHICH CASE, WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU BRING TO THE PEOPLE THAT COMPENSATES FOR THAT LACK OF EXPERIENCE?

Sam says YEAH. IT'S A GREAT QUESTION. IT'S ONE THAT I FOUND CAME UP A LOT DURING THE BY-ELECTION, BY THE TIME THE ELECTION ROLLED AROUND THREE YEARS AGO. WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO WORK ON A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT FILES AND I'VE BEEN ABLE TO SHOW THAT REALLY WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS BEING A COLLABORATOR, BEING SOMEONE WHO BRINGS PEOPLE TOGETHER AND LISTENING TO THE GOOD ADVICE. SO RECOGNIZING THAT AS A YOUNG PERSON, YOU MIGHT NOT HAVE EXPERIENCE, BUT YOU ALSO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE THAT OPEN MIND AND TO SPEAK WITH PEOPLE FROM VARIOUS BACKGROUNDS WITHOUT SOME OF THE EXPERIENCE THAT ALSO ENDS UP IMPACTING THE WAY YOU VIEW THOSE PERSPECTIVES. SO THERE'S ABSOLUTELY ASPECTS OF IT THAT COULD BE CONSIDERED A LIABILITY FROM SOME PEOPLE'S POINT OF VIEW, BUT THERE'S ALSO ASPECTS OF IT WHICH ARE A BENEFIT, AND THAT'S BEING ABLE TO SPEAK TO PEOPLE WITH THAT PERSPECTIVE OF SAYING, LOOK, I DON'T HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS, I DON'T CLAIM TO HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS. I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU. WHAT DO YOU THINK THE SOLUTIONS ARE? HOW CAN WE BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER IN WAYS THAT BRING SOLUTIONS GOING FORWARD FOR THE CHALLENGES THAT ARE FACING US, WHETHER THAT'S THE ENVIRONMENT, THE ECONOMY, CoVID OF COURSE RIGHT NOW, OR EDUCATION. THERE ARE SO MANY DIFFERENT AREAS THAT NEED SO MANY PEOPLE TO PARTICIPATE TO MOVE FORWARD, AND THAT'S BEEN VERY, VERY BENEFICIAL TO HAVE THOSE CONVERSATIONS, TO BE FRANK WITH PEOPLE ABOUT THE AREAS THAT YOU MIGHT NOT HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS.

Steve says EMILIE, YOU TALKED ABOUT THE AUDACITY OF INEXPERIENCE IN YOUR FIRST ANSWER. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN EXACTLY?

Emilie says TO ME IT MEANS BRINGING AN INNOVATIVE APPROACH TO ANYTHING WE DO. I THINK AS A YOUNGER CANDIDATE, BRINGING THAT [indiscernible] TO AMPLIFY THE VOICE OF YOUTH BUT TO AMPLIFY ALL THE VOICES THAT HAVE BEEN MARGINALIZED. IT GIVES US A EDGE WHEN LOOKING AT THINGS FROM A FRESH PERSPECTIVE AND ALSO PERHAPS SEEING THE GAPS THAT ARE HARD TO SEE WHEN YOU'VE BEEN IN IT OR YOU'VE BEEN WORKING ON A PROJECT FOR SO LONG. SO JUST COMING IN WITH THAT FRESH PERSPECTIVE, I THINK TO SAM'S POINT, ALLOWS FOR SO MUCH COLLABORATION AND THAT FRESH PERSPECTIVE. AND I THINK THE AUDACITY PIECE IS JUST THAT LITTLE EDGE THAT YOUTH BRING. AND I THINK THAT'S SOMETHING THAT WE NEED TO SEE IN PROVINCIAL PARLIAMENT AND WE NEED TO HOLD EVERYONE ACCOUNTABLE WHILE BEING COLLABORATIVE. IT'S AGAIN AN EXCITING TIME AND I THINK THAT YOUTH VOICE NEEDS TO BE HEARD A LITTLE BIT MORE AND I'M EXCITED TO HOPEFULLY SEE MORE YOUTH IN PROVINCIAL PARLIAMENT.

Steve says ABHIJEET, HOW ABOUT YOU ON THAT?

Abhijeet says I THINK IT'S A FAIR CRITICISM. THERE'S SUCH A WEALTH OF EXPERIENCE THAT EXIST FOR MANY DIFFERENT POLITICIANS BEFORE THEY EVEN ENTER POLITICS. SO WHEN YOU ENTER IN YOUR 20s OR 30s, WHICH IS WHY I WAS SO APPREHENSIVE ABOUT ENTERING IN MY 20s, WHEN I FIRST RAN I WAS 28. SO WHAT I THOUGHT WAS... WELL, IT'S IMPORTANT THAT YOU HAVE THOSE LIFE EXPERIENCES. BUT WHEN YOU ARE A YOUNGER CANDIDATE, I THINK YOU HAVE TO WORK, AS SAM MENTIONED, DOUBLY HARD. BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO OVERCOME THOSE BARRIERS THAT EXIST. BUT AT THE SAME TIME ALSO HAVE THE HUMILITY TO KNOW THAT YOU DON'T KNOW ALL THE ANSWERS AND THEREFORE YOU NEED TO LOOK TO EXPERIENCE FOR GUIDANCE. BUT AT THE SAME TIME I THINK BECAUSE THERE IS SUCH AN OSSIFICATION OF POLITICAL THOUGHT OR PRACTICES THAT HAPPEN IN QUEEN'S PARK BECAUSE OF THAT OLDER DEMOGRAPHIC, I THINK WHEN A YOUNGER AND A FRESHER VOICE IS BROUGHT IN, IT CAN BRING A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE. AND THAT'S WHAT WE ALWAYS NEED IS DIVERSITY OF PERSPECTIVES. BECAUSE THAT WHAT BRINGS OUT THE MOST ENGAGED AS WELL AS THE MOST COMPLETE, HOLISTIC ANSWER.

Steve says I JUST WANT TO CHECK. YOU SAID OSSIFICATION NOT OOSTERHAUSIFICATION IS THAT RIGHT?

Abhijeet says THAT IS CORRECT.

Steve says OKAY, JUST WANTED TO MAKE SURE I HEARD YOU PROPERLY, JUST KIDDING.

Abhijeet says TRYING TO NOT BE PARTISAN.

Emilie says I WAS HOPING SOMEONE WOULD SAY THAT.

Steve says I'M NOTHING IF NOT PREDICTABLE EMILY, THERE WE GO. SAM, LET ME ASK YOU THE TOUGHER QUESTION THOUGH SAM, AND THAT IS ALRIGHT, YOU'RE IN A CAUCUS MEETING OR MEETING WITH STAKEHOLDERS OR IN A MEETING WITH PEOPLE IN YOUR RIDING, AND AS PROBABLY IS OFTEN THE CASE, YOU'RE THE YOUNGEST PERSON IN THE ROOM. CAN YOU REALLY HAVE AN INFLUENCE OR DO PEOPLE REALLY LISTEN TO WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY WHEN YOU'RE ALMOST ALWAYS THE YOUNGEST PERSON IN THE ROOM?

Sam says YEAH, THAT'S A GREAT QUESTION, STEVE, AND I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO ALSO LOOK AT THE RESULTS OF THE PAST FEW YEARS. IN MY LOCAL COMMUNITY, FOR EXAMPLE, THERE WAS A HOSPITAL THAT HAD BEEN CANCELLED UNDER THE FORMER GOVERNMENT, THAT HAD BEEN FOUGHT FOR SINCE 1997 AND HAD BEEN SHELVED ESSENTIALLY. I WAS ABLE TO WORK WITH MY COMMUNITY AND THE PREMIER AND MINISTER ELLIOTT TO BRING THAT PROJECT BACK TO LIFE AND WE NOW SEE IT GOING OUT TO TENDER, TO RFQ. SO WE'RE HAVING A NEW HOSPITAL COME IN. BILL 3, THE COMPASSIONATE CARE ACT, PALLIATIVE CARE ACROSS ONTARIO, WAS A PIECE OF LEGISLATION I BROUGHT FORWARD WORKING WITH COLLEAGUES FROM ALL THE OTHER PARTIES. WE MADE AMENDMENTS LITERALLY FROM THE GREEN, THE LIBERALS, AND THE NDPs. WE MADE AMENDMENTS TO THE LEGISLATION IN SEVERAL DAYS OF COMMITTEE HEARINGS. WE WERE ABLE TO BRING IT BACK AND IT PASSED UNANIMOUSLY. CLEAN ENERGY. I BROUGHT FORWARD A MOTION ON HYDROGEN TECHNOLOGIES AND THE ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL POTENTIAL OF THESE TECHNOLOGIES. WE SEE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT NOW ALSO BRINGING FORWARD EFFORTS IN THIS REGARDS, WORKING WITH THEIR PROVINCIAL PARTNERS. SO I THINK WHAT HAS TO HAPPEN IF YOU'RE A YOUNG PERSON IS, AS I MENTIONED, BEING WILLING TO TAKE THE ADVICE OF THOSE WHO HAVE GONE BEFORE YOU, BUT ALSO ACCEPT THE FACT THAT PEOPLE AREN'T GOING TO ACCEPT RIGHT AWAY THAT YOU ARE CAPABLE UNTIL YOU PROVE THAT YOU ARE, AND THAT MEANS GOING OUT THERE, GETTING RESULTS, AND THEN BEING ABLE TO SAY, LISTEN, HERE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO WORK ON. LET'S DO MORE TOGETHER GOING FORWARD.

Steve says EMILIE, I DON'T KNOW IF YOU FOUND YOURSELF IN SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES. FOR EXAMPLE, MAYBE YOUR LEADER OR A PARTY PRESIDENT IS ON A ZOOM CALL WITH ALL THE PARTY CANDIDATES, BUT I BET THERE HAVE BEEN OCCASIONS OVER THE PAST SEVERAL MONTHS WHERE YOU FOUND YOURSELF TO BE THE YOUNGEST PERSON IN THE ROOM, ON THE ZOOM FEED, AT THE MEETING, WHATEVER. DO YOU GET A SENSE THAT ANYBODY REALLY CARES WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY.

Emilie says ABSOLUTELY. TO BE HONEST, I WAS A LITTLE WORRIED IN THE BEGINNING. I REMEMBER JUMPING ON OUR FIRST SUPER CAUCUS MEETING WITH ALL OUR MPPs AND CANDIDATES AND BEING A LITTLE NERVOUS AND WONDERING IF THE RECEPTION WOULD BE THERE FOR A YOUNGER CANDIDATE. AND I WAS VERY MUCH WELCOMED WITH OPEN ARMS. AND I THINK THE ONLY THING THAT I STILL KIND OF LAUGH ABOUT A LITTLE BIT WHEN I GET THE ANSWER, OH, THAT'S SO RADICAL, OR OH, MY GOODNESS, THAT'S A RADICAL IDEA. AND I DON'T THINK ANYTHING I'M SAYING TO ANY PARTY OR ANY CONSTITUENT ARE OUTLANDISH. IT'S INTERESTING TO SEE HOW MUCH PEEL HAVE TO WORK TO GET THE SUPPORT ON OUR SIDE FOR SOME OF THE YOUTH LENS OR YOUTH ORIENTED IDEAS. BUT AGAIN I'VE BEEN WELCOME WITH OPEN ARMS IN TERMS OF MY AGE. I'M USUALLY THE YOUNGEST PERSON ON ZOOM CALLS BUT THAT WOULDN'T BE NOTICEABLE IF YOU WERE TO WALK INTO THE ROOM OR THE ZOOM SCREEN, IF YOU WILL. SO FAR A GOOD EXPERIENCE THAT WAY.

Steve says ABHIJEET, ANY DIFFICULTIES IN YOUR WORLD ON BEING TAKEN SERIOUSLY WHEN YOU ARE, AS I'M SURE IS OFTEN THE CASE, THE YOUNGEST PERSON IN THE ROOM OR ON THE ZOOM FEED?

Abhijeet says I'M 31 NOW SO I'M LESS THAN OFTEN THE YOUNGEST PERSON IN THE ROOM. BUT I DEFINITELY... I THINK THAT'S ALSO AN INDICATION OF WHERE THE GREEN PARTY IS HEADED IS ATTRACTING A LOT OF THE CANADIAN YOUTH AND SO I OFTEN AM NOT THE YOUNGEST PERSON BY A MILE. BUT DESPITE THAT, WHENEVER I AM, I AM DEFINITELY TAKEN SERIOUSLY, TO THE POINT WHERE, YOU KNOW, AND TO THE CREDIT OF GREEN PARTY LEADERSHIP, MIKE SCHREINER, LEADER OF THE GREEN PARTY OF ONTARIO, HAS ALWAYS TRUSTED ME WITH HIS VOICE, WHICH IS WHY I BECAME DEPUTY LEADER, BUT ALSO THERE WAS... THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT RESPONSIBILITIES GIVEN TO ME WITHIN THE PARTY ITSELF, I'M CO-CHAIR OF THE SHADOW CABINET, I'M ALSO CO-CHAIR OF THE PLATFORM COMMITTEE, AS WELL AS I'M ON THE PROVINCIAL EXECUTIVE. SO IN ALL OF THOSE ARENAS, THE PARTY HAS CONSTANTLY SHOWN THAT IT IS READY TO EMPOWER YOUNG VOICES, AND THAT'S ABSOLUTELY A NECESSARY THING.

Steve says EMILIE... GO AHEAD, PLEASE.

Sam says I JUST WANTED TO BUILD OFF OF SOMETHING THAT YOU MENTIONED ABOUT NOT BEING THE YOUNGEST EARLIER, BECAUSE THE LAST ELECTION, ACTUALLY, IT WAS REALLY, REALLY AMAZING. WE HAD FROM THE GREEN PARTY, 18-YEAR-OLD JESSICA TILLMAN. SHE WAS THE CANDIDATE IN NIAGARA WEST. WE HAD 20-YEAR-OLD CANDIDATE FOR THE NDP. WE HAD A 26-YEAR-OLD MEMBER FOR... OR, SORRY, CANDIDATE RUNNING FOR THE LIBERALS, JOE KEENEY. AND THEN I ALSO WAS AT THE TIME 20 AS WELL. SO WE HAD ALL YOUNGER CANDIDATES, ACTUALLY, IN THE RIDING, AND IT WAS VERY INTERESTING TO SEE THE LEVEL OF DEBATE THAT HAPPENED AS A RESULT OF THAT AGE BECAUSE THERE WERE A LOT MORE IDEAS AND A LOT LESS PERSONAL ATTACKS THAN I'VE EXPERIENCED IN THE PAST. IT WAS PRETTY INTERESTING TO SEE.

Steve says EMILIE, I WANTED TO POINT OUT SOMETHING TO YOU THAT I'M SURE YOU'RE EXTREMELY WELL AWARE OF, AND THAT'S THE GUY THAT HOLDS YOUR RIDING, TODD SMITH. WON DID YOU THINK ABOUT CONTESTING A MORE WINNABLE RIDING, LET ME PUT IT THAT WAY?

Emilie says I GREW UP IN THE BAY OF QUINTE. I HAVE ALWAYS LOVED OUR BEAUTIFUL RIDING. AND I DID BRIEFLY CONSIDER MAYBE SHIFTING OVER TO HASTINGS OR SHIFTING OVER TO ANOTHER COUNTY, BUT OF COURSE I'M SORT OF SURROUNDED BY MINISTERS. WE HAVE LOTS OF MPPs THAT HAVE LOTS OF EXPERIENCE, AND I THINK REGARDLESS OF WHERE I RUN, FIRST AND FOREMOST, I DON'T WANT TO THINK OF THE VOTE COUNT AS MUCH AS IT'S DEFINITELY ALWAYS IN THE BACK OF OUR MIND WHEN WE'RE MAKING PHONE CALLS, I WANT TO THINK OF THE RIDING THAT I CAN BEST REPRESENT AND FOR ME THAT'S DEFINITELY THE BAY OF QUINTE. I BRIEFLY GREW UP IN THE BEACHES BEFORE MOVING TO THE BAY OF QUINTE, SO I WAS IN TORONTO UP UNTIL GRADE 3. AND THE BAY OF QUINTE JUST DEFINITELY FEELS LIKE HOME. I WOULD SAY THAT I DEFINITELY STILL HAVE SOME TIES IN TORONTO BUT I FEEL SO ATTACHED TO THE BAY OF QUINTE. IT JUST MADE SENSE.

Steve says THAT'S A GOOD REASON TO RUN THERE THEN. ABHIJEET, I'LL ASK YOU THE SAME KIND OF QUESTION. YOU'RE CONTESTING BEACHES-EAST YORK. BY MY COUNT THE NDP HAS WON SIX OF THE LAST SEVEN ELECTIONS AND THE LAST TIME OUT IN 2018 THEY WON IT BY 11,000 VOTES. AGAIN, NOT CLOSE, AND THE GREENS CAME FOURTH. DID YOU CONSIDER CONTESTING AN ELECTION WHERE THE GREENS HAVE BEEN MORE TRADITIONALLY COMPETITIVE?

Abhijeet says YEAH. I MEAN, THOSE ARE FAR SCARCE OPTIONS FOR GREENS OUT THERE COMPARED TO OUR NDP, LIBERAL, OR CONSERVATIVE COLLEAGUES FOR A, QUOTE, UNQUOTE, BETTER RIDING. BUT I THINK WHAT THAT MEANS IS THAT GREENS ARE WILLING TO PUT THEIR NAME FORWARD IN EVERY SINGLE PLACE IN ONTARIO. I CHOSE BEACHES-EAST YORK BECAUSE THAT'S WHERE I FIRST ARRIVED WHEN I LANDED FIRST IN CANADA IN 2005. THAT'S WHERE I GREW UP. I WENT TO DANFORTH TECH COLLEGIATE FOR HIGH SCHOOL. SO THOSE ARE OLD STOMPING GROUNDS. AND I FEEL A REAL CONNECTION TO THAT COMMUNITY. IT'S A VERY PROGRESSIVE COMMUNITY, AS YOU MENTIONED. THE NDP AND THE LIBERALS HAVE SORT OF SWITCHED BACK AND FORTH, WHICH IS WHY I THINK THE ARGUMENT THAT... YOU KNOW, THAT NORMALLY STIFLES GREEN PROGRESS, WHICH IS STRATEGIC VOTING, ISN'T REALLY A FACTOR BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, A LOT OF FOLKS DON'T WANT CONSERVATIVES TO WIN, SO THEY VOTE FOR EITHER THE LIBERALS OR THE NDP, WHOEVER IS STRONGEST. SO IN THIS CASE YOU DON'T REALLY HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THAT BECAUSE THE CONSERVATIVES REALLY WON'T BE WINNING IN BEACHES-EAST YORK. SO YOU CAN REALLY VOTE YOUR HEART OUT THERE, WHICH REALLY IS SOMETHING THAT WE'RE WORKING ON. AND ALSO THIS IS GOING TO BE UNLIKE ANY CAMPAIGN THAT BEACHES-EAST YORK HAVE SEEN BEFORE. IT'S A SERIOUS CAMPAIGN. WE'RE ALREADY MAKING CALLS AND THE RESPONSE THAT WE'RE GETTING IS REALLY PHENOMENAL.

Steve says ALL RIGHT. IN OUR LAST FEW MINUTES HERE, SAM, I'M GOING TO GET YOU TO GIVE THESE OTHER TWO SOME ADVICE. BECAUSE AS I SUGGESTED OFF THE TOP, YOU ARE NOW WHERE THEY HOPE TO BE. YOU ARE THE GUY WHO GOT ELECTED. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT YOU DECIDED, THOUGH, WHEN YOU RAN FOR THE BY-ELECTION, WAS TO RUN IN A RIDING THAT WAS A PRETTY RELIABLY CONSERVATIVE RIDING. YOU WEREN'T TRYING TO SWIM UPSTREAM IN THE WAY THAT THESE OTHER TWO HAVE BEEN. IS THAT PART OF THE TRICK IN THIS, DO YOU THINK? PICK A RIDING WHERE YOUR PARTY AT LEAST HAS A SHOT? WHAT'S YOUR ADVICE ON THAT SHOT?

Sam says NO, THIS IS MY HOME RIDING. I'M BORN AND RAISED HERE, LIVED HERE MY ENTIRE LIFE. I CAN'T IMAGINE REPRESENTING ANOTHER AREA. THE PEOPLE WHO I FIGHT FOR AT QUEEN'S PARK ARE MY NEIGHBOURS, MY FRIENDS, THE PEOPLE I SEE WHEN I GO TO THE GROCERY STORE. YOU KNOW, I WAS BORN IN THE HOSPITAL, AND NOW WE'RE GETTING A NEW ONE. AT THE TIME I WAS BORN, THEY WERE FIGHTING FOR A NEW ONE AND NOW WE'RE ABLE TO GET IT. THINGS LIKE THAT I THINK REALLY, REALLY MATTER. I REALLY EMPATHIZE WITH THE CONSIDERATION THAT PEOPLE HAVE FOR, QUOTE, UNQUOTE, SAFER RIDINGS, BUT I THINK WHEN IT COMES DOWN TO IT, YOU HAVE TO RUN IN A PLACE WHERE YOU'RE ABLE TO CONNECT AND REPRESENT THE PEOPLE ON THE STREET. AND I HAVE A LOT OF ADMIRATION FOR BOTH OF MY COLLEAGUES HERE WHO ARE RUNNING IN RIDINGS THAT MIGHT BE A LITTLE TOUGHER FOR THEIR PARTICULAR PARTIES, BUT CLEARLY THEY'RE DEBATING IDEAS AND THEY'RE DEBATING BRINGING FORWARD WAYS THAT THEY CAN SERVE THE PEOPLE IN THEIR COMMUNITY. SO I THINK THAT'S ADMIRABLE. I WOULD JUST SAY THE ADVICE THAT I HAVE IS THE SAME ADVICE THAT I TELL PEOPLE ALL THE TIME. LISTEN TO GOOD ADVICE, SURROUND YOURSELF WITH WISE PEOPLE WHO HAVE MORE EXPERIENCE, ESPECIALLY IF YOU'RE YOUNGER, AND YOU DO HAVE TO WORK TWICE AS HARD WHEN YOU'RE A BIT YOUNGER. I WOULD ALSO SAY JUST REMEMBER THAT YOU DON'T WALK FOR OFFICE, YOU RUN FOR OFFICE, SO BE WILLING TO DO A LOT OF WORK, AND IT WILL PAY OFF WHETHER OR NOT YOU WIN.

Steve says DOES YOUR ADMIRATION REACH SUCH LEVELS FOR THEM, SAM, THAT YOU BOTH HOPE THAT THEY WIN THEIR SEATS?

Sam says WELL, I WILL SAY I'M HOPING THAT IN THE BEACHES-EAST YORK, IF YOU GET ALL THREE PARTIES, THE NDP, THE LIBERALS, AND THE GREENS WITH ENOUGH OF A SPLIT, THEN MAYBE THE CONSERVATIVES ACTUALLY DO HAVE A SLOT. SO KEEP GOING. I'M HOPING TO SEE THAT HAPPEN. BUT, NO, IN ALL SERIOUSNESS, I DO WISH MY COLLEAGUES THE VERY BEST. I KNOW IT'S GOING TO BE A VERY BUSY YEAR, ESPECIALLY WITH THE CHANGES WITH CoVID AND IMPACTING CAMPAIGNING. I KNOW THAT'S CHANGED OUR STRATEGY. NORMALLY I'M AT DOORS IN THE SUMMER VISITING PEOPLE. WE'LL SEE WHAT HAPPENS THIS YEAR AS A RESULT. I THINK IT'S GOING TO BE IMPRESSIVE TO SEE HOW PEOPLE INTERACT WITH THE ISSUES ESPECIALLY COMING OUT OF THIS GLOBAL PANDEMIC.

The caption changes to "Producer: Steve Paikin, @spaikin; Producer: Patricia Kozicka, @TrishKozicka."

Steve says THREE YOUNG VOICES RUNNING FOR OFFICE, SAM OOSTERHOFF, EMILIE LENEVEU, ABHIJEET MANAY. WE THANK THE THREE OF YOU FOR COMING ONTO TVO TONIGHT. WE HOPE YOU ENJOY THE NEXT YEAR YEARS OF YOUR LIVES BECAUSE IT'S GOING TO BE BUSY AS HELL.

Abhijeet says I THINK YOU'RE RIGHT. THANK YOU, STEVE.

Emilie says THANK YOU.

Watch: Ontario's Youngest Candidates