Everyday Political Citizen Shortlist, 2014

Everyday Political Citizen Shortlist, 2014

Adult Shortlist

Samara's Everyday Political Citizen project celebrates the un-sung heroes of Canadian democracy. Nearly 350 everyday political heroes were nominated in over 110 ridings from coast to coast to coast. From those nominations, 16 prominent Canadians chose 12 exceptional adult finalists and 10 youth finalists to be recognized for their dedication to democratic participation.

Find out more about the adult shortlist below, then read about the shortlisted youth who are making important contributions to Canada’s political landscape even before they can vote.

Juror Denise Siele picked Nicole Chatterton of Edmonton, AB:

Denis for Nicole


"Nicole’s ability to identify difficult-to-teach and hard-to-learn concepts like civic engagement, urban planning and human rights and bring them to life in an elementary school classroom is truly remarkable. This work travels beyond the classroom walls, inspiring young minds and nurturing the next generation of global citizens. Individuals like Nicole are instrumental in cultivating new Everyday Political Citizens, our young children, who are given valuable and meaningful learning opportunities to apply their creativity, knowledge, compassion and skill to strengthen the civic fabric and character of their communities. Everyday Political Citizens like Nicole are instructional, motivational and most often facilitators. I can only imagine the energy and enthusiasm that is present in her classrooms. I am proud to nominate Nicole Chatterton for the 2014 Everyday Political Citizen shortlist." Read the full nomination here.

Jurors Remzi Cej, Grant Clitsome, Mark Coffin and Gabrielle Scrimshaw picked Tim Halman of Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS:

Scrimshaw for Halman
Gabrielle Scrimshaw

Grant Nomination
Grant Clitsome

“I am nominating Tim Halman to the shortlist for providing his students the opportunity to understand and engage in the political process. It's incredibly important we make everyday politics accessible for the generations, and Tim facilitates this both inside and outside of the classroom. Thanks for working to help your students find their voice, and then encouraging them to actively use it to make a difference in the community.” 
​-Gabrielle Scrimshaw

Tim Halman

"I'm nominating Tim Halman for the Everyday Political Citizen because of his great work in encouraging young Canadians to take a greater interest in politics and democracy. In my opinion, youth engagement is one of the most important issues we face and Tim has demonstrated his leadership and initiative in encouraging his students to approach politics with enthusiasm. Tim has shown us that young Canadians can be encouraged and inspired to take on democracy."
​-Grant Clitsome

I would like to nominate Tim because of his unwavering commitment to engaging youth in the political process. There is an unfortunate stereotype out there about youth disinterest in community and civic engagement, and it bothers me every time I come across it - so few of us choose to act as allies and mentors, and so many as youth critics. Tim's approach appears to have been one of an ally, of someone who recognizes the value youth bring to democracy. Democracy is about being aware and informed - creating a Political Club at his school means Tim's students can expound their ideas of democracy and discuss how politics affects their daily lives. We should all follow his example and work with youth to create more politically active and aware communities.
-Remzi Cej

“I'm nominating Tim Halman for his commitment and excellence in teaching young Canadians about democracy. Teachers have the opportunity to inspire students about the power and potential of democracy if they choose to, and it's clear that Tim chooses to put the extra thought and effort into making his political science an opportunity for inspiration. His class website features inspiring quotes from people like John Dewey, one of the most influential thinkers on democracy and education, and his scores on RateMyTeacher.com indicates that his teaching practice has a lasting effect on students.”
-Mark Coffin

Read the full nomination here.

Juror Taylor Gunn picked Neeta Kumar-Britten of Sydney—Victoria, NS:

Taylor nominates Neeta

Neeta Kumar B4

“I am so happy to nominate Neeta Kumar-Britten. I have had the privilege of working with Neeta for several years and am inspired by the enthusiasm, dedication and creativity she brings to her classroom to make citizens out of her students. She creates ‘teachable moments’ out of current events that engage her students and the wider Nova Scotia community in the democratic process. Neeta walks the talk and shows her students that the responsibility and duties of our citizenship are something that we can act on every day.” Read the full nomination here.

Juror Kirstan Gagnon picked Benoît Langevin, Pierrefonds—Dollard, Montreal, QC:

Gangon for Benoit Langevin


"Je propose la candidature de Benoît Langevin. Félicitations! Si je propose Benoît Langevin, c’est parce qu’il est extrêmement engagé dans sa collectivité. C’est un jeune chef de file qui fait équipe avec des organismes locaux et leur donne de son temps pour aider les jeunes à se sortir de la rue et à mener une vie productive. Je trouve qu’il est un modèle pour les jeunes et que nous avons besoin de plus de gens comme lui.”

“I nominate Benoît Langevin. Congratulations! I nominate Benoît Langevin because he is so engaged in his community. He is a young leader who partners and volunteers with local organizations to help youth get off the streets and lead productive lives. I think he is a role model for young people and we need more people like him.”

Read the full nomination here.

Juror Nancy Close picked Wendy Lees of Calgary—Southwest, AB:

Nancy Close for Wendy Lees


"For me, Wendy Lees in Calgary  perfectly illustrates the idea of an Everyday Political Citizen—her work in Calgary's East Village neighbourhood is all about connecting people, it is all about the importance of each of us having a voice and it is all about how we can work together to make our community better. What I love most is that she will no doubt be surprised that others see her as an everyday political citizen, she likely just sees a need and then acts!" Read the full nomination here.


Juror Rick Mercer picked Patti Melanson of Halifax, NS:

Rick Patti Melanson


“Patti Melanson from Nova Scotia is my nominee for the Everyday Political Citizen shortlist. Every day, Patti's work takes her where most of us don’t want to tread, reaching out to those who need it most—the young, the at-risk, and the homeless.  Patti helps the vulnerable survive not only in the present, but also in the future through her advocacy work. She demonstrates that it’s okay for our best and our brightest in the field to be active on the policy front.  Maybe if more people could get those two worlds to work in harmony, we'd all be much healthier. Politicized doesn't have to be a bad word.” Read the full nomination here.

Juror George Cooper picked Lois Miller of Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS:

Cooper for Lois Miller

Lois Miller

“I’ve chosen Lois Miller because of her long-time dedication to the ideals of the ‘Everyday Political Citizen.’ Lois has served in a broad range of capacities—educator, elected official, many community organizations—and has been involved in a range of the political issues of the day. I especially applaud her success in advocating for people with disabilities.” Read the full nomination here.

Juror Michael Walters picked Anubha Momin of Iqaluit, Nunavut:

Walters for Anuba


“I am nominating Anubha because of her commitment to engaging every citizen she can in important community building and policy discussions. She does so with an obvious flare for creativity, light and positive spirit. Grassroots engagement, positive communication and leadership development among day to day citizens is a model of An Everyday Political Citizen.” Read the full nomination here.

Juror Ali Chatur picked Claire Prashaw of Parkdale—High Park, Toronto, ON:

Ali for Claire


"Claire Prashaw embodies the true meaning of an Everyday Political Citizen. Whether it is trying to make her son’s school a better place, or working on campaigns, she really does it all! What I love most about Claire is that she has perseverance and strength—she never, ever gives up!" Read the full nomination here.

Juror Carol Anne Lee picked Eddie Tang of Vancouver Kingsway, BC:

Carol for Eddie

Eddie - Copy

“I'm happy to put forth Mr. Eddie Tang from Vancouver Kingsway as my selection for the shortlist.  I appreciate his devotion at 80 years of age to make our community a better place at a stage in life when most people have long since retired.  I feel fortunate to have such a devoted volunteer and community builder in my community.” Read the full nomination here.

Juror Madeleine Redfern picked Kevin Vuong of Trinity—Spadina, Toronto, ON:



"Youth, and especially minority youth, are too often disengaged from political life.  It is good to see such activism that attempts to increase youth political engagement." Read the full nomination here.

Juror Tom Long picked Morgan Wienberg, Whitehorse, Yukon:
Long for Wienberg


“I was impressed by Morgan’s willingness to look beyond our borders and to engage in causes which had a direct, tangible impact on a difficult international issue.  She shows initiative and ingenuity in marshalling resources and energy here at home to address a need beyond her own community.  Bravo!” Read the full nomination here.