A 23-year-old MP candidate from Etobicoke is fighting for the needs of young people in the upcoming federal election.
Sasha Kane was nominated last summer to be a Member of Parliament for the Etobicoke-Lakeshore riding, which represented the NDP party.
As a young woman herself, Kane says the main priorities of her campaign include universal access to mental health services, affordable housing and affordable prices in general.
“The housing crisis has been here for a while, and prices continue to rise, creating housing and [rental] units that are unaffordable, forcing young people like myself or my friends out of town and ending up losing parts of our community, ”Kane said.
“I know I will probably never be able to afford a house in the city unless a major change happens,” she added.
Kane talks about how free mental health care for not just young people but everyone is important in reducing stigmas.
“In the time we live in, life is so stressful because we can not afford the things we need. If therapy were covered, it would be a huge burden lifted off our shoulders, it’s something all people need, “Kane said.
Before running for MP, Kane graduated with a degree in political science from Western University in December 2020.
After graduating, Kane felt inspired as she witnessed the work of NDP candidate Dirka Prout’s work while volunteering for her riding in London, Ont.
When Kane was at home in the Toronto borough of Etobicoke, she came across an online request for MP candidates to represent the NDP and decided to sign up.
After a long investigation 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 before you do it, and I had never done anything like that, so I had no idea what I was doing,” she added.
As this year’s election period was much shorter, Kane has been super busy building his campaign, speaking to the community and preparing for debates and speeches.
“I really enjoy it. I love going out into my community and talking to people, learning about what their needs are and doing everything I can to support them,” Kane said.
If Kane is elected as a Member of Parliament for her riding, some of her other priorities include implementing safe injection sites in Etobicoke and helping to remove water-boiling advice on original reserves.
With his campaign, Kane deviates from fitting the form 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, be sympathetic, there is definitely a pressure to be perfect to represent the people in your riding,” she said. “But I’m not perfect, I’m just a human being.”