NDP candidate to become youngest-ever MP at 19
Published Tuesday, May 3, 2011 2:32PM EDT
MONTREAL - If the whole political thing hadn't worked out, NDP candidate Pierre-Luc Dusseault said he was destined for a summer job at a golf course.
But now, Dusseault can forget the links.
That's because the 19-year-old is headed to Ottawa after becoming Canada's youngest-ever MP with his victory in the Quebec riding of Sherbrooke on Monday night.
Dusseault said he's thankful the voters in his Eastern Townships riding have given him the chance to represent them.
"It's a good day and a good election for the NDP," he told The Canadian Press in a telephone interview.
"I'm glad that the people of Sherbrooke have given me the chance to represent young people in Canada."
Dusseault, who turns 20 on May 31, has just finished his first year at the Universite de Sherbrooke in politics.
He said he hopes to make an impact in the Commons and defend young people everywhere in Canada.
Dusseault voted for the first time on Monday -- admittedly for himself.
"It's not a difficult choice," he joked.
Despite the learning curve, Dusseault said he's ready for Ottawa.
The political neophyte is co-founder and president of the NDP student association. He says he's been to Ottawa and visited the House of Commons. He also watches a lot of CPAC, the TV channel that broadcasts parliamentary proceedings.
"I know the game," Dusseault said.
The campaign started slowly until the university year ended and he hit the streets and parks. He said people in his riding of Sherbrooke made it clear they wanted change.
"All the people I met were saying we want a young MP, we want change and the NDP is the new voice of Quebec," Dusseault said.
Dusseault, raised in Granby, Que., replaces Claude-Andre Lachance as the youngest MP.
Lachance was elected as a Trudeau Liberal in 1974 at the age of 20 in a Montreal riding.
Dusseault, the son of a daycare administrator and a warehouse manager, will earn the basic MP's salary of $157,731 while learning the ropes.
But he says he would still like to finish his degree once his political career is over.