Stetski kicks off federal NDP campaign

Former Cranbrook mayor endorsed by provincial and federal colleagues at campaign kick-off on Sunday.

Wayne Stetski

Wayne Stetski

Surrounded by provincial and federal NDP colleagues, Wayne Stetski made it official on Sunday afternoon as he kicked off his campaign for the upcoming federal election.

No one knows when it’s coming, but the writ must be dropped before Oct. 19, 2015.

In front of a crowd at the Manual Training School, a number of NDP politicians such as MLA’s  Michelle Mungall (Nelson-Creston), Norm Macdonald (Columbia River-Revelstoke), and Katrine Conroy (Kootenay West), among others, gave their endorsement to Stetski.

Alex Atamanenko, MP for British Columbia Southern Interior, delivered an introductory speech before Stetski made his address to the crowd.

Touching on his former career as an regional manager with the Ministry of Environment and his time in municipal politics as mayor of Cranbrook, Stetski introduced himself and explained why he is running for federal office.

“I’m very proud of the progress we made here in Cranbrook towards building a community that values all of our citizens, and I learned first-hand about the day-to-day concerns and challenges that are faced by all of us who live in rural Canada,” said Stetski.

“I believe in family, public service and to borrow some of Jack Layton’s words, that people are inherently loving, hopeful and optimistic and I describe myself as a fiscally responsible, liberal-minded green NDPer.”

Stetski outlined issues such as the military’s move away from peacekeeping, treatment of veterans, firing of 1,800 federal scientists, cuts to the CBC and the use of whipped votes as his main concerns in Ottawa.

“Many of the values that I hold dear as a Canadian are under attack by the Harper Conservative government, and I’ve never believed in letting bad things happen to good people,” Stetski said.

Prior to Stetski’s address, Macdonald was one of the dozen or so politicians and local representatives to endorse his newly minted candidacy.

“First and foremost for me, he’s going to be a democrat, he’s going to bring democracy back to this place,” said Macdonald. “We have one person that speaks for us when the laws of Canada are made, when the decisions of how money is spent, when decisions are made whether going to war, or what CSIS does in this country…

“We have one representative and I want that person to speak for us, to speak for this region.”

Once the election writ is dropped, Stetski will be running against incumbent David Wilks (Conservative Party) and Bill Green (Green Party). The Liberal Party has yet to declare a candidate for the Kootenay-Columbia riding.