Stetski to lead NDP in Kootenay Columbia

Former Cranbrook Mayor Wayne Stetski hopes to lead the NDP to victory this term as he runs for MP in the riding of Kootenay Columbia.

Former Cranbrook Mayor Wayne Stetski hopes to lead the NDP to victory this term as he runs for Member of Parliament (MP) for the NDP in the riding of Kootenay Columbia.

Running against current Conservative MP David Wilks, Stetski said he was persuaded to run in the 2015 federal election after what he viewed as the erosion of Canadian values under the Harper Conservative government, including the poor treatment of veterans and the cuts to the CBC, including the 657 jobs eliminated earlier this year.

“I’ve always believed in both a sustainable economy and a sustainable environment and that the two go hand in hand, and watching what has happened under the conservative government, that is not the case,” Stetski said, adding, “Stephen Harper has inflicted serious damage on our country, making it more and more difficult to even recognize the Canada we know and love.”

Stetski, who served as Cranbrook mayor from 2011 to 2014, said his experience as both mayor and Kootenay Regional Manager for the British Columbia Ministry of Environment, qualify him for the position.

“I’m very comfortable with the region. I know the values that make this such a great place to live,” said Stetski. “I’m very excited about serving the people of Kootenay Columbia. I’ve spent my life in public service and I truly believe that is one of the best callings and one of the best things you could do with your life.”

The NDP candidate said he hopes to address issues like affordable day care and homelessness.

“I am going to make a difference on behalf on my constituents. I really see my role as representing our constituents very strongly both with our leader and ultimately in parliament.”

While serving as mayor, Stetski said he focused on prioritizing multiculturalism, people with disabilities, seniors and youth and that in the three years he served the City of Cranbrook, mayor and council made progress on behalf of those groups.

After maintaining second place in the 2011 federal election under Mark Shmigelsky, Stetski said he is confident in the NDP in this election.

“In this riding and in many other ridings across the country, the NDP are best positioned to be successful,” Stetski said. “It will be the NDP that defeat the conservative government in many ridings including this one ultimately.”

If successful in the election, Stetski hopes to bring back the values that he believes have been lost during the conservative governments reign.

“From my perspective we need to get Canada back on track around the things that make us proud to be Canadian,” said Stetski.

Members of the Kootenay Columbia NDP Riding Association will affirm Stetski as their candidate at their nominating convention on Sunday, March 15 in Cranbrook.