Scott E.W. Chapman may be young, but he is not inexperienced. With little political background, Chapman says he still has a lot to offer as a mayoral candidate for the Mississauga election. As a recent graduate from Humber College, he understands student debt and the fight to finding a good job in what appears to be a dwindling economy.
“The main thing right now is youth unemployment…I’m well aware of youth unemployment because if I don’t get elected then my options for me aren’t that great,” he says.
Chapman says, “Baby boomers are set to retire, and if you don’t hire youth now so the current employees can teach their forty-five years of experience on to the next generation, then the knowledge will be lost,” adding, “Eventually you will have to hire younger people and you will stand ahead of companies who don’t do it until later.”
Chapman, 24, left his job in the alarm business to focus on his passion for politics. He says, “I’ve always been passionate about politics, and local politics is a place where I can see myself doing a lot of good for the most amount of people.”
Another main issue of Chapman’s platform is transit. Riding the bus and subway frequently, he feels as though he can significantly improve Mississauga’s commute by putting a subway along Dundas St. whereas Steve Mahoney wants to expand the HOV lanes and Bonnie Crombie wants to build 100 kilometers of rapid transit coverage throughout the city.
Sheridan College student Gabriel, 23, travels to school daily and agrees Mississauga’s transit system could use some improvements. He plans on voting in the Mississauga election and says a subway would be nice, but for his commute “It’s just one bus up Hurontario Street, so it’s not a big deal. But I know if I’m coming from anywhere else it’s a pain.”
Being the youngest candidate comes with challenges, but Chapman is ready to face them. “It might hinder me being a twenty four year old because people look at me and think, ‘I don’t know if I can trust a twenty-four year old running for mayor,’” but his youth might be a fresh change from the older faces in the race.
Chapman says that what sets him apart from other candidates is not only his age, but that he is an open and honest person. “I’m not going to lie to get a vote or say things that sound nice,” he says, admitting that he will aim to increase government spending; putting Mississauga into greater debt, but at the same time, says he will do his best to reduce redundancies.
Chapman’s outlook on the electoral race is a positive one and he has some encouraging words for other young people looking to get into politics. “Don’t give up, it’s hard for everyone, but you can make a difference.”