BEPPLE – Looking for a 42-year-old (or younger) to represent us in Ottawa

MP Cathy McLeod in Parliament.

THE AVERAGE AGE in Kamloops is 42, as is the British Columbia average.  So, at 55 years old, I’m at the point in my life, like many others, where well over half the people I encounter are younger than I am.

Whether it is my dentist or physiotherapist, financial advisor or spiritual advisor, sales clerk or mechanic, there is a good chance the people I deal with day-to-day are younger than me.

For the first time in my life, going into the federal election in 2019, the leaders of all three major federal parties, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, will all be younger than I am.

The tide is turning, and the younger generations are taking over.

So it was a surprise to me, if not others, that the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Conservative Cathy McLeod has decided to run again.  She’s been elected for 10 years.  Now 61 years old, it would have been understandable that she stepped down. The travel to and from Ottawa, the long days in the House, and the drudgery of sitting in opposition all would make it seem that retirement would be appealing.  And yet she’s indicated she will run.   Perhaps.

While I was expecting McLeod to step aside for a younger candidate, I was equally expecting Bill Sundhu, an eminent lawyer and former judge, to step forward to seek the nomination as the NDP candidate for the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo.  Also aged 61, Sundhu has the experience of running in the previous federal election, placing just behind McLeod.  He also has legal experience in B.C., across Canada and internationally, including the international criminal law, defending human rights defenders, and UN Working Groups.

It is a huge loss not only to the local NDP riding association that Sundhu is not seeking the nomination, but equally so for people in the Kamloops and area.  Human rights is something of more and more importance every day.   His voice will continue to be heard on human rights, but not in the next election.

Time will tell who will run for the NDP.

There have been no names put forward yet for the Liberal or Green candidates either.

Which leads us back to all those people under the age of 42.  Now, more than ever, young people’s voices need to be heard.

Short of bold policy changes, climate change, or better named climate disaster, is coming.  Young people have the most to gain, by tackling climate change head on.  And the most to lose, if we don’t.

Canada’s demographics are changing, with more diversity, more urban, and more Aboriginal peoples. Younger people grew up in diversity and understand how it works.

The economy of the future hasn’t yet been defined, but to be successful, we need to be more than hewers of wood and haulers of water.  Who better to lead us, than young people who understand the technologies that our economy need.

Whatever problems happen 50 years from now, I won’t be around.  But there is a good chance those under 42 years old will.

I’m looking for young candidates to run, no matter their party, to represent Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo.

Nancy Bepple is a former city councillor of Kamloops with a strong interest in community building projects.

About Mel Rothenburger (7725 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

5 Comments on BEPPLE – Looking for a 42-year-old (or younger) to represent us in Ottawa

  1. Deann Martin // November 30, 2018 at 5:49 PM // Reply

    I don’t. Care what party they represent I would like to see elected officials have more respect for seniors especially those living below $20,000 a year and I give more attention &action to seeing that no single. Senior lives on less than $25,000 a year &has quality home support systems adequate medical coverage to include alternate choices &full pharmacists coverage. It should all be on a national basis How many present MPs/MLAs could live on that amount. As for present MP with her background she should be able to do more Seniors need to form a union maybe bargaining for pensions &benefits would bring Srs the results others gets

  2. Robert Bruce // November 30, 2018 at 4:05 PM // Reply

    Good comment John….But I’m more…hummm. I don’t think she will lose, not because I think Ms Mcleod has done a good job, is even intelligent enough to hold the position. She will win because people in Kamloops will vote her back in…not enough folks vote here, usually, and those that do are ill informed. I wouldn’t expect much in the way of change…cause it never does.

    • It will be interesting to see what Mr. T. does in Ottawa the next few months because it could have an impact on what voters see as issues come election time.
      I am of the opinion of a 2-term limit for politicians of any flavour (municipal, Provincial or Federal) so she won’t get my vote next time around regardless.

  3. I’m not sure that all 42 year olds have the wisdom in life to represent people who are heading into the long twilight hours of life who know what day CPP and OAS are deposited into their bank accounts.

    As we see the debt loads rise at every level of government, should we be taking a look at the age of the politicians who have made the decisions to spend against the future of younger generations? Did that have any bearing?

    Does the Corporation of the City of Kamloops carry a load of debt? If so, one might ask the average age of even our own civic managers and elected officials who have made the decisions to get us to the point we are at with that debt load. Should interest rates rise, as they did in the early 1980’s, what will happen to the cost of servicing our municipal debt?

    I lean more towards the maturity level when I see and listen to candidates who are running for office. That’s likely why I voted for only 3 people in the municipal election. In my way of thinking, we can do without some of the things approved the last few years in exchange for replacing and maintaining infrastructure such as our fire department, roads, water supply and sewers.

    • Life experiences are important, the elders give us guidance. We need more experienced people in politics not greenhorns without pedigree. But sure let the young participate, a different viewpoint should always be welcome. And as far as the three main federal parties goes…what’s like being led by someone who never even had one callous on his hands?

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