At age 30, David Joanasie is the youngest person to be elected to the Nunavut legislature, but by the current standards in the House of Commons and some of the country's provincial legislatures, the newly elected MLA who won a seat Monday night in the territory's fourth election is long in the tooth.
Entering politics at a young age is nothing new. Joe Clark was just 39 when he became prime minister of the country, having been first elected to Parliament at age 33 in 1972. Bob Rae won his first seat in the House of Commons at age 30 as an NDP MP in a 1978 federal byelection.
We take a look at some recently elected politicians who've attracted attention for their young age.
Pierre Luc Dusseault, NDP MP, Sherbrooke (Born: May 31, 1991) — The youngest MP in Canada's history, Dusseault was part of the NDP's crop of young, fresh-faced MPs elected in the May 2011 election. He was a few weeks shy of his 20th birthday when he was elected and has recently been chosen to chair the government operation and estimates committee. Before Dusseault, the youngest person to be elected to the House of Commons was Sean O’Sullivan, who became an MP at age 20 in 1972 and represented the riding of Hamilton-Wentworth, Ont., until he left politics five years later to become a priest.
The McGill Four — Charmaine Borg (Born: Nov. 3, 1990), Matthew Dubé (Born: May 3, 1988), Mylène Freeman (Born: March 7, 1989) and Laurin Liu (Born: Nov. 13, 1990) got their nickname because when they were elected as NDP MPs in Quebec in May 2011, three of them were still enrolled as students at McGill University and the fourth had only just graduated. All were in their early 20s at the time.
Young politicos thriving locally, too
There have also been some notable young faces at the local, provincial and territorial level.
Canada has its share of young mayors. Luke Strimbold was 21 when he was elected mayor of Burns Lake, B.C., in November 2011 and got a literal baptism by fire when, less than two months into his term, there was an explosion at the local sawmill that destroyed the town's main employer, killed two workers and injured almost two dozen people.
La Ronge, Sask., mayor Thomas Sierzycki was also 21 when he was elected in 2009 and, like Strimbold, still holds the position.
By comparison, Edmonton's new mayor, Don Iveson, who was sworn in Tuesday, is an old fogey at 34, and Windsor's mayor, Eddie Francis, who was elected at age 29, is no longer such a standout.
Quebec saw youngest MNA elected last year
Provincially, there are quite a few 20- and 30somethings filling the seats in the country's legislatures. Below is a small sampling of some of them.
Léo Bureau-Blouin was just 20 and a leader of Quebec's student movement when he was elected to the province's national assembly in September 2012 as the Parti Québécois MNA for the Laval-des-Rapides riding. He became the youngest person to be elected to the Quebec legislature and took the shine off other young MNAs such as the PQ's Mathieu Traversy and Dave Turcotte, who were 24 and 25, respectively, when they were elected.
Several of New Brunswick's MLAs are in their late 20s or early 30s. Progressive Conservative MLA Ryan Riordon was around 28 when he was first elected in 2010. Current Leader of the Opposition Brian Gallant was just 30 when he was chosen to head the New Brunswick Liberals at a leadership convention in October of last year. He won a seat in the legislative assembly in a byelection this past April.
Currie Dixon became the youngest cabinet minister in the Yukon legislature in 2011 - and one of the youngest in Canada. (Currie Dixon/Yukon Legislative Assembly)
Newfoundland and Labrador MHA Christopher Mitchelmore, who made news this week when he quit the NDP caucus to sit as an independent, was just shy of his 26th birthday when he was elected to the province's house of assembly in 2011 and is currently the youngest member of the province's legislature.
Yukon's Currie Dixon put his political science master's degree to good use when he ran in the territory's October 2011 election. He won his seat, and less than a month later, became Yukon's youngest cabinet minister at age 26, overseeing the environment and economic development portfolios. The Yukon Party MLA now also oversees the public service commission
He was not appointed.
Tell me, have you yet determined how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?
Wikipedia uses that term