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Hope’s Green candidate is tops with local students in mock vote process

Students at three schools choose Arthur Green as ideal Member of Parliament
Chilliwack-Hope federal election candidates, top row left to right, Mark Strahl (Conservative), Kelly Velonis (Liberal), DJ Pohl (NDP), bottom row left to right, Arthur Green (Green Party), and Rob Bogunovic (People’s Party of Canada). (Submitted)

If it were up to the kids in Hope, Arthur Green would be the new Member of Parliament.

Students were invited to take part in the CIVIX student vote, an exercise in introducing young people to the voting process and government in schools. Three schools in the district took part in the Chilliwack-Hope vote.

Thirty-two Coquihalla elementary students voted for Green, with the Green Party, in a slim win over the NDP’s DJ Pohl, who earned 30 votes. The area’s re-elected MP, Conservative Mark Strahl, came in third with 22 votes. The Liberal’s Kelly Velonis came in fourth with 21 votes, and People’s Party candidate Rob Bogunovic came in fifth with 16 votes.

At Hope secondary, just 20 students took part in the exercise.

They voted equally for Pohl and Strahl, with seven votes for each. Four students voted for Green, and two for Velonis. None voted for Bogunovic.

At Silver Creek elementary, 14 students voted for Bogunovic, 13 for Green, 11 for Pohl, seven for Strahl and six for Velonis.

In total, that is 49 votes for the Greens, 48 for the NDP, 36 for the Conservatives, 30 for the PPC, and 29 for the Liberals.

In B.C. overall, the NDP were overwhelmingly the party of choice for students in this election. They earned 34.7 per cent of the total votes, and 73.8 per cent of the total seats.

Students voted almost equally for the Liberals and Conservatives, at about 20 per cent of the votes. The Green party appealed to 14.5 per cent of B.C.’s students, and the PPC, 6.6 per cent.

Arthur Green has been one of the participants in Fridays for the Future, almost every Friday outside of Hope District Hall. Many young people in town have also taken part in the weekly demonstrations, urging residents to consider climate change and their impact on the environment.

He responded to the win with a message for the youth of Hope.

“Thank you, my very first election win,” he said. “I really got clobbered in the real world. It’s hard to believe that they pick on and chastise the only party with a logical plan to fight climate change.

“It’s time to pass those battles down to you. The world needs you, and none of us can live without the world. So here’s your inheritance, don’t spend it all in one place. Do what you believe in and know what’s right, comes from the heart.”

He implored them to not be “deterred by populism or un-visionary politicians. We’re leaving you with ‘our’ hangover! Carbon capture. Electrification. Desalination.”

And finally, he said, “good luck.”

READ MORE: Fridays are for the future in Hope


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Jessica Peters

About the Author: Jessica Peters

I began my career in 1999, covering communities across the Fraser Valley ever since.
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