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Stetski confirmed as NDP candidate for Kootenay-Columbia

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
March 29th, 2021

Wayne Stetski will try to unseat current Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison of the Conservative Party in the next federal election after being officially confirmed as the NDP candidate for the riding at a virtual nomination meeting held Saturday, March 27, 2021.

“I am honoured to be able to represent the people of Kootenay Columbia,” Stetski, who served as Kootenay-Columbia MP for the NDP from 2015-2019.

“There is a lot I want to do to help folks here in the Kootenays.”

Stetski was nominated amid speculation that the federal government will call an election in the spring despite the growing number of COVID-19 cases across the country.

“I am especially focused on recovery from COVID, addressing the climate change crisis, protecting the environment, introducing proportional representation voting, and building a green economy that includes energy workers in the discussion and planning for the future,” Stetski said.

Stetski has lived in the riding for over 30 years. He and his wife Audrey brought up their family in Cranbrook, and both have been very active in the community.

He managed the provincial parks of the Kootenays for many years and was the Kootenay Regional Manager of Environmental Stewardship for the BC Ministry of Environment from 2002-2009; then became Manager of the EK Conservation Program working on private land conservation from 2009-2011.

He was elected as Mayor of Cranbrook and also served as East Kootenay Regional District Director from 2011-2014.

Over the years, he served as chair and board member on a number of cultural and civic organizations associated with the College of the Rockies, Symphony of the Kootenays, Key City Theatre, and the United Way.

“In my term as MP I helped to:  get Jumbo protected as Qat’muk – an Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area; secure $25 million in federal funding for Avalanche Canada, implement the 20 hp restriction for the treasured Columbia Valley Wetlands,” Stetski said during his acceptance speech.

“I co-chaired the House of Commons Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development, which during my term developed important reports and policy recommendations on the environment and our cultural heritage. I co-founded the All-Party Cycling Caucus for parliamentarians, was co-chair of the Canada-Philippines Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group and chaired the NDP Caucus for British Columbia Members of Parliament.”

Stetski said people in Kootenay- Columbia have been facing difficult challenges over the past year and will have more to overcome once the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

He said during the COVID-19 pandemic New Democrats have fought hard to make sure the most vulnerable Canadians get the help they need.

Stetski said Prime Minister Trudeau offered an Employment Insurance payment that would leave most people behind.

However, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh fought and won so that millions of Canadians received $2,000 cheques monthly. Trudeau offered businesses a 10% wage subsidy.

The NDP also forced them to deliver a 75% wage subsidy which meant millions of Canadians could keep their jobs. The NDP will always make sure that Canadians, especially those who often go unnoticed, are heard.

“Why am I running? I’m running because I care about our people, our communities, our riding, and our future. I’m running because I want to get things done in a non-partisan way to serve you and to serve Canada,” Stetski explained.

“If you are a progressive voter from any political party in Kootenay-Columbia who wants a progressive Member of Parliament representing you in Ottawa AND you want a non-partisan public servant working hard for you every day here in the Kootenays, I am asking for your vote in the upcoming federal election.”

After defeating incumbent David Wilks in 2015, Stetski lost the Kootenay-Columbia riding to Morrison in 2019.

Abra Brynne of the Green Party and Robin Goldsbury of the Liberal Party finished third, and fourth, respectively, in the 2019 federal election.

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