Cole Squire is seeking to represent Brantford–Brant People’s Party of Canada in the next federal election on September 20. He is a member of the Six Nations Reserve and has lived in the Brantford–Brant riding for his entire life.
After attending high school at Brantford Collegiate Institute, Squire went on to pursue post-secondary education at Mohawk College and obtained his personal support worker certificate. He served as a personal support worker for the Brant Community Healthcare system at the Brantford General Hospital from 2014 to 2020. Squire also helped found the Six Nations Imaginary Library in 2015, a free program to help children under the age of five develop the critical and foundational skills of literacy. He returned to post-secondary in 2018 to further his education and gain new skills.
After completing one year of the general social science programs at Six Nations Polytechnic, Squire transferred to McMaster University to pursue studies in Political Science. He is currently in his third year at McMaster and is working to finish his B.A. Two Row Times caught up with Squire this week and chatted with him about his candidacy:
TRT: What is your name and where did you grow up?
Squire: My name is Cole Squire and I grew up on Six Nations. I still live on Six Nations now.
TRT: How old are you?
TRT: What areas does your riding cover?
Squire: New Credit, Six Nations, Brantford–Brant.
TRT: How is social media helping or hindering your run?
Squire: Social media has been extremely helpful. I noticed the People’s Party of Canada is not getting as much coverage in the media as other parties have been, which has been very frustrating. Social media is helping us get the word out there about who we are and what we’re all about. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, and my site is now up and running too. What’s helped a lot is just getting out there and spreading the platform by word of mouth, it’s all pretty grassroots.
TRT: What unique skills do you have for the job?
Squire: For one, I can think critically about things and look at issues from multiple perspectives. That’s a skill you can learn but it’s also really just about having common sense, and that’s one of the ways the People’s Party of Canada is looking at policies. Using common sense and applying it to issues affecting everyone in the country. Other people are running in this election who have a lot of education, maybe they were educators or worked in education at one time, or law enforcement—and it’s really shocking to see how some of these other candidates could support some of the things in this country that they do.
I’ve also been studying political science at McMaster for three years, I’m in my last year. And another skill I have is being able to listen and communicate effectively. There are a lot of people telling you what you think you want to hear but not too many people listening. It’s really important to be able to have critical conversations and peaceful dialogue with people and to have conversations that the other parties don’t want to touch.
TRT: How would you describe the PPC party in a few sentences?
Squire: The People’s Party of Canada is doing politics differently. Bringing a common-sense approach to some of the most hard-hitting issues affecting the country today. Some say the People’s Party of Canada is extreme or far-right, and bring in notions of white supremacy, but being a Native American, that is untrue and completely laughable. We don’t care what race, gender, sexuality you are. We care if you are a proud Canadian who loves this country and has fairness and respect for an individual’s freedom. To have the desire to unite under what makes our country great.
TRT: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Squire: I hope to be in a free country that I’ve been so blessed and lucky to grew up in. I’m very concerned about the future of our nation and there is so much riding on this federal election. The people in Canada are going to decide on our future on September 20. Will we remain a free and prosperous country or become a post-national state with no core identity?
TRT: What is your comfort level dealing with tough issues?
Squire: I would absolutely not back away from a tough conversation about issues affecting our country. I’m not afraid to stand behind my principles and have conversations with people. Which has actually been one of the most rewarding aspects of the campaign these last few weeks; hearing people talk and share their concerns. Mostly everyone I talk to says it’s so refreshing to hear someone not beat around the bush or promise cheap talk, or pivoting on their stances. That’s not what I’m about.
TRT: When did you become interested in politics?
Squire: I used to work at a hospital as a personal support worker right out of high school and I wanted to go back to school and further my education. So I started at Six Nations Polytechnic and did the University Consortium program for one year. After that took I an interest in law and politics. My family has been heavily involved in political issues on Six Nations for as long as I can remember, especially my grandfather Bill Squire, who is now passed. Going to university and further expanding my knowledge and experiences has been wonderful.
TRT: What ways do you think growing up on Six Nations prepared you for this role?
Squire: It’s interesting because a lot of people today do a lot of double-speak; saying a lot of things that sound nice but I noticed they don’t act on it. It’s extremely frustrating to hear the Liberal and other parties use our situation here on Six Nations to pander and bribe people for their votes when they don’t actually deliver. For example, talking about reconciliation and other topics like that.
As someone who has grown up on the reserve, I can see right through that deception and see how there are policies out there right now from those other parties that are keeping our people in a state of victimhood and using us for identity politics. Which is dangerous and harmful to exploit our situations.
TRT: How do you work as part of a team?
Squire: I am definitely a strong leader. I am able to talk and work with people from all different ends of education, world views, career choices, and all that. One of the things that helps is that I am a strong communicator who listens and hears where people are coming from. I have vision and can communicate that to a team. It’s important to not just lead the team but also uplift and encourage those they are leading.
TRT: Why is running in this election right for you right now?
Squire: I am extremely concerned with how public health policy in Canada has been denying some of our fundamental rights and freedoms in this country. I’ve been speaking out about the lockdown since March last year, and anyone who speaks out against the popular narrative gets painted out as a white supremacist or extremist and it’s baseless. I have a real concern about this and so many other similar things. We keep seeing big tech companies in the media censor and cover up the narrative without giving an explanation. When I had the opportunity to put my name in for candidacy I was more than happy to do so because I know the community needs a strong leader that’s not going to contribute to the bigger negative trends going on. We need to stand up and make a difference.
TRT: What would you say are your top areas of focus?
Squire: I love the People’s Party of Canada because they’re touching on Indigenous issues in a different way. They haven’t come out and said ‘Natives need this, this, and this,’ and all the other regular talking points regarding Indigenous people decade after decade. The People’s Party of Canada is saying, ‘You know what? We’re not going to tell you what Native people in this country need or want. We’re going to start having conversations and finding out what is really needed—from the people themselves.’
TRT: Why is it important for young people to care about politics and political parties?
Squire: We’ve taken a lot of things for granted that other people in the world aren’t so fortunate to have. We have the ability to work and are lucky to have minimum wage jobs available. Even though they might not be as high-paying as some would like, there are people in other places in the world who are forced into child labour. People who are being persecuted for their religion, and people being put into concentrations camps still or are undergoing forced re-education. It happens you just don’t hear about it.
Everyone wants to talk about the dark history of the past but no one wants to talk about the dark history of the present and what is happening to young people today. Young people need to take interest in politics and voting because whether they like it or not politics affects nearly every aspect of our lives.
When we aren’t restarting the government and making sure the government is working for its people how we’ve seen today, it can grow into this monster that ends up coming back to bite us in the end.
TRT: What is your least favourite aspect of the world of politics?
Squire: The corruption and lies and deceit. Using identity politics to further an agenda.
TRT: What is your favourite aspect of the world of politics?
Squire: That we are in a democracy and not a dictatorship. We are lucky to be able to select and elect the people we want to be put in the political office and represent us. For so long people neglect to vote, our highest civil duty, and we need to get back to it.
TRT: What is the best way for community members to reach you?
Facebook: Cole Squire PPC