Young candidates in Quebec municipal election few and far between

People between the ages of 18 and 34 represent less than nine per cent of all the candidates in Quebec's upcoming municipal election, according to data from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs.

People under 35 represent less than 9 percent of all candidates running in next month's municipal election

Hugo Parent is running for city councillor in Terrebonne, north of Montreal. (Radio-Canada/Dominic Brassard)

Technically, Hugo Parent can't vote yet.

But that hasn't stopped the teenager, who turns 18 six days before the upcoming Quebec municipal elections, from jumping into the race.

He is running for a city council seat in Terrebonne, Que., about 30 kilometres north of Montreal.

"It's a good challenge because it's largely older people at the municipal level. I don't necessarily have the same ideas as people who are in their 60s," Parent said.

He said if elected, he hopes to offer more recreational activities for young people and adapt local parks to meet the needs of teenagers.

Few candidates under age 35

Parent, who describes himself as being passionate about politics, is one of only a few younger candidates running for election in municipalities across Quebec on Nov. 5.

People between the ages of 18 and 34 represent less than nine per cent of all the candidates, according to data from Quebec's Ministry of Municipal Affairs.

Candidates under 35 are more common in larger cities across the province though.

In Montreal, they make up 20 per cent of all municipal candidates, more than double the provincial average.

According to Jérémie Ernould, president of a commission for young elected officials at the Union of Quebec Municipalities, that difference can be attributed to the fact that municipal councillors are paid more when they represent a larger population.

"So someone elected in a large city earns a higher salary than someone elected in a small municipality," Ernould said.

When candidates have to keep their jobs because the salary isn't high enough on city council, making a jump into municipal politics isn't an obvious choice, he said.

Beaudoin is running as a candidate in Greenfield Park alongside Sylvie Parent of Action Longueuil. (Radio-Canada/Dominic Brassard)

Some youth get involved anyway

However that hasn't stopped some younger candidates from throwing their hats into the race.

In Longueuil, on Montreal's South Shore, Zacharie Beaudoin, 19, is running for a councillor position in Greenfield Park.

A CEGEP student, Beaudoin has recruited some of his friends to help his campaign.

"My [campaign] organizer is 19 and it inspired him a lot when I proposed [that he help me]," he said.

"I have lots of friends going door-to-door with me. They want to see what it's all about."

With files from Radio-Canada