U.S. election stress hits Canadian youth

The potential effects of the U.S. election on the future of Canada have mentally affected the younger demographic the most.


By Catherine Mwitta

Young Canadians feel uncertain about their future in light of the 2020 U.S. elections, says a Vancouver-based counsellor. 

Tricia-Kay Williams, a counsellor at Metamorphose Counselling in Vancouver, said that Canadian youth are experiencing global stress. 

“It’s definitely circumstantial with COVID-19 and the sort of political climate that we’re experiencing a global stress, a global grieving. So now you’re no longer stressed about your job or activities. Now you’re stressed about things happening across the world,” Williams said.

A negative outlook on their future

Many young Canadians like Michaela Peters, a volunteer at the Oct. 24 protests at the Vancouver Art Gallery in support of Mi’kmaq fishers, said that there has been an increasing “negative change” in the political climate since U.S. President Donald Trump’s election win in 2016. 

Antoine St. Marie, a young Canadian who is a member of  Fightback, an anti-capitalist organization, said the increasing political anxiety in Canada and the United States have affected youth very hard. “I think that has to do with [the fact] that we live in a society that doesn’t offer people a future,” St. Marie said. “It doesn’t surprise me that the system in crisis produces this kind of massive polarization.” 

Stephen Phillips, a political science instructor at Langara College, said that over the last decade, political parties have paid for ads to run throughout the year even before the elections. “This has never been done before in Canada, and political parties adopting this sort of practice from their respective politicians in the U.S. is no coincidence,” Phillips said.

While tensions may still be high in North America, Williams said the Canadian youth shouldn’t concentrate on that too much. “Focus on what they can do. Be assertive instead of aggressive.” 


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