Matthew Chisholm's is an Antigonish native with Pictou County connections, but his inspiration for becoming a federal election candidate came from half a world away.
In 2009 Chisholm traveled to South Africa to work as a project support associate with Families for Africa for four months.
As he saw the social issues facing people in South Africa he became aware of how vast the differences are between the two countries, but still there were similarities. When he got home he was inspired to seek the same change locally that he was nurturing in South Africa.
"It drove me to feel that I needed to be more involved in my own community," he said. I always felt that passion but it really fired me up."
Now the Central Nova Green Party candidate, Chisholm says he does not pursue politics for the love of politics, but rather because of issues he's become aware of and involved in heavily over the last six years from theatre to sustainable development.
At 22, Chisholm is competing for votes against three men more than twice his age. Without a doubt he is an under dog. He knows his chances of winning are slim at best, but he's hoping if nothing else, he can bring some important issues to light during this campaign.
"It's going to be an honour to debate against three very highly respected men in their communities and to debate against Mr. MacKay," he said. "I don't know how much anybody's going to be paying attention to what I say, but I feel like the things that I have to say are words that a lot of people will be able to identify with. ... I first and foremost want to get up there and speak as a youth who feels a need to address a lot of issues as a youth."
He hopes that he can strike a cord with the younger voters as well as those who are dissatisfied with the mainstream parties.
"I feel like I am a strong candidate. I'm not just a paper candidate," he says. "I feel that I do have a lot to offer to the people of Central Nova."
Family: He is the son of Cindy and Bob Chisholm and has a brother and a sister.
Education: graduate of Saint Francis Xavier University where he studied Political science and community development.
Occupation: Community sustainability officer at St. FX
Volunteer experience: He has volunteered with student life at St. FX, worked with FAMSA in South Africa and volunteered for Theatre Antigonish.
Matthew Chisholm took some time to talk with downtown business owners in New Glasgow last week. Here he speaks with Zelda Crossman, owner of Zelda's Flowers Studio.