HALIFAX, N.S. -- Young candidates running in Nova Scotia’s provincial election say they’re up for the challenge as voters head to the polls August 17.

Progressive Conservative candidate Scott Ellis spent Thursday morning mapping out his door-knocking route for the day.

“You have the chance to make a difference in people’s lives,” he says. “Whether you get elected or not, you get to hear people’s stories, people are willing to share their stories and that’s really a privilege for me to be able to run in the area.”

Ellis is running in the riding of Halifax Needham. He says the main focus of his election campaign is mental health, a cause close to his heart.

“It’s the universal mental health care plan of the PC party,” Ellis explains. “I’m a survivor of anorexia and eating disorder that came on all of a sudden, with no warning.”

In the riding of Argyle, voters will find Liberal candidate Nick d’Entremont on the ballot August 17.

“I’ve been pretty involved, always involved in politics,” he says. “The main reason I threw my name in is I want to help people. It’s in my blood. I come from a family of volunteers and teachers.”

At 19-years-old, d’Entremont says he’s focused on healthcare, more support for seniors, and tourism.

“We need to make sure that our tourism industry gets back on track after the pandemic because we knew it took a hard hit,” he says. “We need to get this ferry back up and running so that we can have an economic rebound and the ferry will help do that in our region.”

Lauren Skabar, 24, has been a card-carrying NDP since she was a teenager. Skabar put her name forward as a candidate for Cumberland North.

“I just graduated from Dalhousie, I got my masters, and I figured there’s no time like the present,” she says. “There’s an election, and I’m able and I’m really excited about it.”

Skabar says she’s passionate about healthcare and rent control.

“You often don’t think about it in small towns, like Amherst, or Pugwash, or Wallace, and the folks there need rent control just as bad as we need rent control in the city.”

The youngest MLA to ever be elected in Nova Scotia is Mat Whynott.

He won the riding of Hammonds Plains Upper Sackville at 23-years-old in 2009.

“I got involved in politics because of people,” he says. “I got involved because I saw there were things that were wrong and I wanted to be part of the solution on how to fix them.”

The former MLA lost in 2013, but continued a career in politics. These days he works for the federal New Democrats.

He’s thrilled to see young people running in this year’s provincial election.

“One of the things that grounded me when I got involved in politics is I would go knock on doors once a week, in between elections,” Whynott explains. “Because often times, you get into that bubble of the legislature or government, and I think it’s really important to stay connected with the people that you represent.”

Words of wisdom from a former MLA to young candidates, with all eyes on the August 17 election.