28-year-old Anthony Edmonds is not a newbie to political involvement. An aerospace engineer by day in 2017, he ran unsuccessfully for the Nova Scotia Greens in the WaverleyFall River-Beaver Bank byelection, and prior to that he was involved in volunteering and campaigning for the NDP since his teen years.
“I always enjoyed it and felt it was part of my civic duty, if that's not too cheesy,” he said. “It’s always something that I felt like more people should do.”
The switch away from the NDP came from a difference in opinion over some policy positions. Eventually Edmonds found that his beliefs better aligned with the Green Party, though he doesn’t consider himself a diehard partisan, or an environmentalist.
“I see decisions being made that, regardless of whether or not you really care about polar bears, are just going to have very real consequences down the road and (in) a very undeniable way. And to me that's just reckless,” he said.
“I'm at a point in my life now where many millennials are where I'm really seriously thinking about starting a family and I realized that I can't in good conscience bring another person into the world without doing everything in my power to make sure that they're actually going to be able to live a good life. I want to look at my future children in the eye and tell them. ‘Look, I tried.’ ”
Though he has an extensive background in community service and political activism, Edmonds said he still gets grief from folks who think he’s too young to be on the ballot.
“I had lots of people telling me I should dress a particular way or you should use this particular language so that you'll appear older because young people don't get elected very often,” he said.
Edmonds, however, said he refused to censor himself and is proud to be a fresh, young voice in politics.
“I am a young person, that's what I am, and there's nothing wrong with that.”
— Andrea Gunn
Source: Canadian Millennials: Social Values Study, by Environics Institute