This 23-year-old MP candidate from Toronto is fighting for the needs of young people
A 23-year-old MP candidate from Etobicoke is campaigning for the needs of young people in the upcoming federal election.
Sasha Kane was nominated to be a member of parliament this past summer for the Etobicoke-Lakeshore riding, representing the NDP party.
As a young person herself, Kane says the main priorities for her campaign include universal access to mental health services, affordable housing and affordability, in general.
"The housing crisis has been here for a while, and prices are continuing to go up, making homes and [rental] units not affordable, which forces young people like myself, or my friends out of the city, and ends in us losing parts of our community," Kane said.
"I know I will probably never be able to afford a house in the city, unless there's a big change" she added.
Kane talks about how free mental health care for not just young people, but everyone is important to reduce stigmas.
"In the time we live in, life is so stressful because we can't afford the things we need. If therapy was covered it would be a huge burden lifted off of our shoulders, this is something all people need," Kane said.
Prior to running for MP, Kane graduated with political science degree from Western University in December 2020.
After graduation, Kane was feeling inspired when witnessing the work of NDP candidate Dirka Prout while she volunteered for her riding in London, Ont.
When Kane was back home in the Toronto borough of Etobicoke, she came across a request online for MP candidates to represent the NDP and decided to sign herself up.
After a lengthy vetting process, she was approved to be one of the two MP nominees for her riding in May 2021.
When the federal election was called in August, Kane automatically became the NDP candidate for her riding after the other nominee dropped out.
"I was really excited, but also nervous," Kane said. "You never really know how something will go until you do it and I had never done something like this so I had no idea what I was up for," she added.
With this year's election period being much shorter, Kane has been super busy building her campaign, speaking to the community and prepping for debates and speeches.
"I'm really enjoying it. I love going out into my community and speaking with people, learning about what their needs are and doing everything I can to support them," Kane said.
If Kane does get elected as MP for her riding, some of her other priorities include implementing safe injection sites in Etobicoke and helping to eliminate water boil advisories on Indigenous reserves.
With her campaign, Kane strays away from fitting the mold of a traditional politician; she says she wants to show people the humanity behind the work she does.
"If you want people to vote for you, you have to be likeable, there's definitely a pressure to be perfect to represent the people of your riding," she said. "But, I'm not perfect, I'm just a human being."
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