At just 19 years of age, incoming Town councillor Luke Brennan is officially Crossfield’s youngest-ever council member.
Brennan was among the seven candidates acclaimed in Crossfield’s 2021 election, alongside incoming Mayor Kim Harris, and Couns. Mike Knight, Joanne Cornelssen, Justin Gustafson, Shawn Vang, and Jo Lambert.
“I’m thrilled. It’s been a passion for a long time,” Brennan said. “Getting to serve the Town and learn from everyone there who has a little more experience than me in this is even better.”
Brennan said he is looking forward to helping move the Town forward in the coming term. A life-long resident of Crossfield, he graduated from W.G. Murdoch School in 2020, and was previously a volunteer with the Crossfield Fire Department.
“I’m most looking forward to seeing what will happen in the next four years, as far as projects I’ll be able to work on with everyone,” he said
“I do like this town, and I would like to have a say in the direction it goes. It’s important to me because it’s been the place I grew up, and the chance to get to learn from people about this and taking this first step into municipal politics and learn from everything that comes with that is a good experience.”
Prior to Brennan’s acclamation, Aaron Kosack held the honour of being Crossfield’s youngest councillor, when he was elected at the age of 21 in 1995.
Crossfield's incoming mayor, Kim Harris, said she is looking forward to working with Brennan in the coming years, adding his youth will bring a different perspective to council discussions.
“He can be an incredible representative for that age group, and we don't often get that on council,” she said. “I'm going to embrace that and help coach Luke as best as I can, as will the rest of the team, on protocol and those types of things. I think he's going to be a really quick learner, so I'm looking forward to working with him.”
Brennan said he was looking forward to participating in his first municipal election, and admitted he was disappointed when only seven candidates ran, meaning all seven were elected and there was no need to campaign.
“The campaign experience would definitely have been exciting,” he said. “Honestly, I was a little sad it didn’t go to an election. But talking to a business owner in town, he [joked] I shouldn’t call it an acclamation, but winning by a landslide.”
Though he acknowledged he doesn’t have much of a platform as he prepares to take on his new role, Brennan said helping small business owners in Crossfield will be one of his focuses.
“I’ve been listening to people in town and largely, their concern is about small business,” he said. “There seems to be a disconnect between the governing body in Crossfield and the people that run small businesses in Crossfield.”
Another of Brennan’s objectives, he added, will be increasing local opportunities for young people.
“Growing up in town, you get a feel for what’s available and what’s lacking,” he said. “There could always be more [options].”
Outside of politics, Brennan said he is currently a first-year carpentry apprentice. He previously worked for Howes Bros Lumber for two-and-a-half years, before the business closed in 2020.
He is also working to build a 1928 Model A Ford Coop, in his spare time.
Harris added her first one-on-one meeting with Brennan will be held Oct. 23, in preparation for the council's swearing-in and first meeting on Oct. 26.
“I'm looking forward to hearing what he has to say, hearing his point of view and seeing what direction his thoughts are on Crossfield,” she said. “We're looking forward to doing a really good job for Crossfield in a positive way.”
While he may be a few – or in some cases, more than a few – decades younger than his council colleagues, Brennan said it is important to have a range of voices and demographics represented in municipal politics.
“There’s been a real societal shift as far as the age people are looking toward politics as a possibility to change their life,” he said. “I think it’s important for younger people to remember that there is still opportunity in it. Don’t lose hope in it. There are a lot of people out there who use it to their own advantage and forget what they were put there for, so get involved with it – that’s what I’d like to see.”