Columbia Valley and Area G director for the Regional District of East Kootenay Gerry Wilkie (far left) is one of several local politicans who have endorsed Kootenay-Columbia NDP candidate Wayne Stetski

Columbia Valley and Area G director for the Regional District of East Kootenay Gerry Wilkie (far left) is one of several local politicans who have endorsed Kootenay-Columbia NDP candidate Wayne Stetski

Federal Election: Stetski starts campaign in Kootenay-Columbia

Kootenay Columbia NDP members welcomed a full house of supporters who signed up to participate in the upcoming election campaign

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New Democratic Party

Kootenay Columbia NDP members welcomed a full house of supporters who signed up to participate in the upcoming election campaign at their Campaign Kickoff in Cranbrook on March 15th.

“The message sent by the people of this area was clear,” said Stetski.  “People reject the Harper Conservative plan for Canada, and they are going to work to make a change in the next election.”

Traditionally, party nomination events are a time when only members of the political party gather, but Stetski was determined that the official start of his campaign would include a wide cross-section of the community.

The event featured a World Café issues forum where participants were able to bring their thoughts and ideas forward on a range of topics from democratic reform to building a sustainable economy.

“I want to be the next Member of Parliament for Kootenay Columbia, and in preparation for the role, I need to hear from everyone,” said Stetski.  “The current MP has clearly stated that he can only vote the way Stephen Harper tells him to, even if his constituents disagree.  That’s not good enough for the people in this area.”

Stetski received the endorsement of a number of key regional political figures including the current MP for BC Southern Interior Alex Atamanenko, MLA for Nelson Creston Michelle Mungall, MLA for Columbia River Revelstoke Norm Macdonald, MLA for Kootenay West Katrine Conroy, former MLAs Ed Conroy and Anne Edwards, Mayor Gerry Taft of the District of Invermere and Gerry Wilkie, Regional Director for the RDEK.

Norm Macdonald said he was proud to stand in support of Stetski.

“Wayne is a true democrat.  Electing Wayne Stetski will bring democracy back to this area,” said Macdonald.

“This was a day of celebration, but now we are getting down to work.  I’ll be travelling throughout the area, including events in Revelstoke and Golden next week,” said Stetski.

As the former Kootenay Regional Manager for the BC Ministry of Environment, Stetski is very familiar with the large riding of Kootenay Columbia.  Stetski oversaw staff and offices in Cranbrook, Nelson, Revelstoke and Invermere.

“There is a sense of determination that I am seeing in the people who joined our campaign today.  It’s the same level of determination that caused 50 people to stand in the rain in Cranbrook on March 14th, along with thousands of others across the country, to protest the Conservatives’ Anti Terror legislation C-51, a bill that will result in the diminishment of our freedoms. I was proud to join them,” he said. “People across Kootenay Columbia are saying no to Stephen Harper’s Conservative agenda, and are ready to work as hard as it takes to ensure that we send a strong NDP voice to Ottawa after the next election.”

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