RICHMOND, BC — Eighteen-year old Jaeden Dela Torre has just started his first year in university.
But this political science student believes that now is the right time for him to throw his hat into the fray, because of the issues that his generation faces.
“We have a growing climate crisis, we have income inequality crisis, and we have the housing unaffordability crisis. I don’t want to have to look my kids in the eye and say I did have the opportunity, I can do something about it, but I just didn’t take it.”
As a kid, Dela Torre was shy and didn’t easily warm up to strangers.
But now, he has come to enjoy door-knocking as he said this is how he learns about the problems faced by ordinary folks.
“I feel like that’s where I kinda shape most of my views and values because learning from knocking on someone’s door, listening to the single mom who has three kids, who has to work two jobs just to be able to afford her rent, that’s very heartbreaking.”
And he is familiar with the plight of the poor.
In May 2018, while he was still in grade 12, Dela Torre led a group of students who slept on the steps of Richmond City Hall, to support the modular housing project for the city’s homeless.
Dela Torre is also passionate about the climate crisis, and said adults should listen to the youth as it is their future that is at stake.
“With the crisis going on, this is not a time to be kind of, sort of patronizing towards young people. This is a choice between, are we really gonna move forward? Are we gonna save our planet or are we gonna stagnate and go backwards?”
Dela Torre’s parents came to Canada in the late 80’s. He is proud of his Filipino heritage, and is grateful for the values his parents have taught him.
Come October 21, voters will decide who they will elect to Canada’s parliament — and win or lose, Dela Torre said he will continue to fight for the disadvantaged.