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Posted: July 26, 2019

MP and Tory candidate exchange jabs

Conservative candidate Rob Morrison

Kootenay-Columbia Conservative Party candidate Rob Morrison and MP Wayne Stetski (NDP) are already exchanging jabs leading up to the October 21 federal election.

Morrison July 24 issued a media release noting Stetski is dodging debates, with Stetski replying the candidate doesn’t get how things work.

“The NDP candidate appears unwilling to take questions from his constituents,” Morrison’s statement began.

“I would like to thank the Presidents of the Kootenay-Columbia Liberal, Green and Conservative Associations and the campaign manager for the PPC candidate for their quick response and willingness to participate in bringing democracy to Kootenay-Columbians via a non-partisan debate challenge.

“NDP candidate Wayne Stetski was quick to accept the challenge in the media, however, close to a month later and after multiple attempts to contact him the debate committee, comprised of representatives from each candidate, has yet to hear directly from him.”

Morrison pointed out that in the last election Stetski had the following to say on this very topic:

“One will have to wonder whether or not Mr. (David – then Conservative candidate) Wilks is really willing to take questions from his constituents in a public forum. Is he really willing to debate his opponents?”

Morrison continued: “The NDP candidate must be willing to be held to the same account as he held David Wilks to during the last election. It appears that he jumped at the opportunity for the media coverage. However, when it came time to actually commit he didn’t deliver on his promise. I would hope that Mr. Stetski is indeed willing to take questions from his constituents and as such am re-issuing my debate challenge to him.

MP Wayne Stetski

“Will you, Wayne Stetski, accept the challenge to bring democracy to the people of Kootenay-Columbia via these debates and follow-through by contacting the debate committee? I look forward to hearing from you.”

Stetski said he’s pleased to see a Conservative candidate willing to engage publicly but concluded his challenger doesn’t understand how federal election debates work.

“While I am happy to hear a Conservative candidate express an interest in debates, which is a real change from past elections, it is clear that he does not understand how debates work. The debates are organized and proposed by community groups and schools, and each candidate team then agrees on which ones they will participate in. Communities wait until all of the parties have their candidates in place and the writ is dropped, and of course schools start up in September, Stetski told e-KNOW.

“I look forward to the debates. I was happy to participate in 15 of them in 2015. Until those are organized this fall, the Conservative candidate is just blowing smoke,” he said.


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