Justin Kulik, 18, has been named the federal NDP candidate in Kelowna-Lake Country. (Facebook)

Kelowna-Lake Country NDP nominate teen to run in federal election

High school student Justin Kulik will challenge incumbent Liberal MP in October’s federal election

The federal NDP in Kelowna-Lake Country is not just courting the youth vote – it is also running a candidate who is still a teenager.

Justin Kulik may be 18 and about to graduate from high school in a few months, but he is also his party’s candidate in the upcoming federal election in the riding. Kulik won the nomination last month.

In October’s federal vote, he will challenge incumbent Liberal MLA Stephen Fuhr. It will be a race that will also feature Conservative Party candidate Tracy Gray.

READ MORE: Kelowna-Lake Country Liberal MP acclaimed for his party’s nomination

On his Facebook page, Kulik said he was “incredibly” pleased to win the nomination.

In the nomination race he defeated a former Kelowna-Lake Country provincial NDP candidate, Erik Olesen. The vote totals were not released.

Olesen, 26, ran unsuccessfully against B.C. Liberal incumbent MLA Norm Letnick in the 2017 provincial election in Kelowna-Lake Country, finishing a distant second. He also ran last year for mayor of Vernon and finished third.

READ MORE: Tracy Gray new Kelowna-Lake Country Conservative candidate

In seeking the NDP nomination, Kulik said his three main goals if elected MP would be to combat food waste, push for both a universal pharmacare system in Canada and free contraception for women and what he called “investing in the future,” through the sustainable, clean energy and the creation of the long-lasting jobs that would provide.

He said, as a student, he participated in the March 15 school “strike” for climate action that featured students leaving class in cities around the world—including Kelowna—to protest a lack of action by world governments on climate change.

“I’ve been asked why I’m running,” he said prior to winning the nomination. ” Simply speaking, it’s because it’s time to see long overdue change made.”

Under current federal election rules all candidates must by 18 years of age on or before election day.

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