Wayne Stetski was officially confirmed as the NDP Candidate for Kootenay-Columbia at a virtual nomination meeting held on March 27, 2021. (Submitted file)

Nobody wants an election, but NDP are ready: Wayne Stetski

The Kootenay-Columbia NDP candidate has been touring the riding

NDP candidate for Kootenay-Columbia, Wayne Stetski says it looks like the next Canadian Federal election will be called in the next few days.

“(The) telltale sign was back in June when (the Liberal government) invited anyone not planning to run again to make their farewell speeches,” he said.

Stetski, who on Monday August 9 suggested an election could be called as early as August 11 (or August 15), is in Fernie and has been playing the part of a candidate on the go over the last few weeks, having been on a six-day tour of West Kootenay communities before coming out east.

According to Stetski, voters in Kootenay-Columbia are not keen on an election just now.

“Nobody wants an election right now, and understandably so. Everybody is just getting over COVID,” he said.

“People just want to feel normal and have a vacation.”

But, much like the candidates in Kootenay-Columbia, the Federal political leaders were crossing the country doing everything that looked like a campaign already, said Stetski.

Out East, Federal leader of the NDP, Jagmeet Singh, wrote to Canada’s new Governor General, Mary Simon on July 28 urging her to turn down any possible requests from Justin Trudeau to allow an early election – something the Prime Minister took exception to, with Trudeau accusing the NDP of being complicit with the Conservative opposition in slow-walking legislation the Liberal government regarded as important.

According to Stetski, the primary message he was hearing from voters was that they wanted the government to focus on the climate emergency.

“How can it not be (a priority) when you’re surrounded by fire and smoke.”

Stetski also said he was hearing lots about a want for more affordable housing, help in affordable living through dental care, health care and education, and a need to remove profit from senior care homes.

“COVID exposed a lot of gaps (in the system)”, he said.

Stetski said he’d be on the ground in the East Kootenay (and in Fernie) a lot in coming weeks, adding that even a few days out from the predicted writ drop, it felt like an election already.

Once the writs are dropped, an election must occur within 37 to 51 days. If an election is called in the next few days, that means Canadians will go to the polls between late September and all of October, making this a Fall election.

In Kootenay-Columbia, Wayne Stetski of the NDP is challenging incumbent MP, Rob Morrison of the Conservatives. Also challenging for the seat is Robin Goldsbury of the Liberal Party – meaning that for the three largest parties in Canadian politics, the next election will be a re-match between all candidates as Stetski, Morrison and Goldsbury contested the 2019 election as well, which saw Stetski lose the seat to Morrison.

For the Green Party, Rana Nelson or Revelstoke will contest the election.

READ MORE: Suspense building for potential federal election

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