The most 19-year-old politician ever.
The first thing you learn about Ontario’s newest MPP is that he is 19. That’s what you read before you learn that Zach Morris look-alike Sam Oosterhoff wants to freeze time in 1956, or what his policy stance is on Hydro (he thinks you should pay less!).
What’s really striking about Oosterhoff is just how much of a 19-year-old he is when he’s asked questions by the media.
He can be surly, evasive, and make people wonder where he is for extended periods of time. He is Teen MPP.
So far Oosterhoff has had several eyebrow-raising exchanges with journalists. At first, he didn’t really speak with them, aside from a campus paper.
But eventually he had to. The exchanges sound like every 19-year-old ever, except this 19-year-old happens to be a provincial legislator and thus held to higher standards.
When Oosterhoff boasted about “big scholarships” from Brock University, all in order to bolster his education credibility, he was asked what kind of scholarships he earned. He responded, “That’s for me to know and you to find out.”
Asked by QP Briefing about whether he’s in favour of same-sex marriage and granting same-sex couples legal status of their children without needing to adopt them, he responded this way:
I think we need to be making it easier for people to be parents, and make adoption easier. I believe that—funny story, I was actually a counsellor at a camp and I had four kids that I was taking care of with a co-counsellor. A week of that and you realize the sacrifices people make to be parents. All I can do is commend anyone who’s willing to make that sacrifice to be a parent, because it’s a very giving task. I commend everyone who wants to be a parent, and I think we should be doing everything we can to make it easier to be parents.
He would later tweet that the bill is “disrespectful to mothers and fathers” and helpfully clarified in a scrum that he’s “absolutely not a homophobe.”
We don’t know how many more interviews of this kind we’ll get from Teen MPP.
So we’ve put together the basic structure for future interviews, which may or may not happen.
MEDIA: What did you do today, MPP Oosterhoff?
TEEN MPP: Nothing much, daddddd.
MEDIA: Did you hang out with your social conservative friends?
TEEN MPP: Ugh, you just don’t understand them.
MEDIA: I’d like to understand! What did you guys chat about?
TEEN MPP: That’s for me to know and you to find out.
MEDIA: Umm, okay then. What do you think of the latest LGBTQ rights bill? It’s in the news! Patrick Brown supported it.
TEEN MPP: I’d like to talk about how Kathleen Wynne is terrible, and I’d also like to add that this latest legislation tears at the fabric of my teenage soul.
MEDIA: That got dark fast.
TEEN MPP: There’s a lot of depth to me.
MEDIA: Will you bring up these socially conservative concerns in the future, even if your party leader opposes the ideas?
TEEN MPP: I don’t know about that, and no one is the boss of me, but I do know that you don’t understand me, daddddd.
MEDIA: This is true. What should we understand about you, that we don’t know right now?
TEEN MPP: Look, I didn’t ask to get elected, I was kind of chosen. And that’s a big burden, y’know? Also, why do you always have to nag? You’re so unfair.
MEDIA: Good quality time! Thanks!