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Posted: October 23, 2021

The election is over but critical issues remain

Letter to the Editor.

Hi. My name is Wayne, and I’m a recovering politician…!

I really did want to go back to work for you as your Member of Parliament but the election results determined otherwise. Final results from Elections Canada were: Rob Morrison (CON) 28,056; Wayne Stetski (NDP) 23,986; Robin Goldsbury (LIB) 5,879; Sarah Bennett (PPC) 4,467; Rana Nelson (GRN) 2,577. I congratulated Mr. Morrison personally and would like to thank Robin, Sarah and Rana for putting themselves out there in these very interesting times.

My sincere thanks to my great team of volunteers from around the Kootenays who make running in elections worthwhile and fun! The friendships we develop during campaigns last into the future, win or lose. A special thanks to Audrey for being one of my strongest supporters and hardest workers – you have to go into politics as a team and we were a good team!

While the election is over the critical issues that must be dealt with remain.

Fighting climate change. William Shatner (Captain James Kirk of the Starship Enterprise) summed it up well after his recent 10-minute trip to space. Above him was the blackness of space which he called death. Below him was the green and beautiful earth surrounded by a narrow band of blue atmosphere (he called it the thin onion skin) that keeps us alive. We lose that narrow band, and what you get is… death. It can’t be any clearer than that.

Making life more affordable, including housing, day care, prescription medication, dental care and post-secondary education. We need to make life better for seniors by taking profit out of long-term care homes and bringing in a guaranteed annual income that is more than OAS and GIS which, even when combined, keeps some of our seniors living below the poverty line.

Bringing in proportional representation voting so that every vote counts; 28.8% of the eligible voters here in Kootenay-Columbia did not vote in the 2021 Federal election, some of them because they don’t believe that their vote really matters under our current first-past-the-post system of voting.

Implementing the 94 recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report. As the report says, “Getting to the truth was hard, but getting to reconciliation will be harder.” Reconciliation with our indigenous friends and neighbours must be a priority.

In addition to the federal priorities, two issues that are primarily provincial jurisdiction came up at many doors and in many conversations.

During the first few weeks of the campaign, we heard how important it was for the B.C. government to protect more of our old growth forests. I agree, and believe that there will be some positive announcements soon.

The last few weeks of the campaign, Covid vaccines and passports were front and centre. While there is lots of information and misinformation on the internet, I prefer to listen to our local doctors.

A physician whose door I knocked on in Fernie put it this way – “you either get vaccinated or you will get Covid. The problem is that as primarily unvaccinated Covid patients fill our ICUs the system is under tremendous strain. Nurses and even doctors are burning out, and if it continues our medical system could well collapse.” That is certainly not a future that I want to see…

My career, including my time in politics, has been devoted to serving people and the environment. As long as I continue to have what I call “the burn to serve” I will continue to look for opportunities to contribute to a better Kootenays, a better BC, a better Canada, and to serve my community locally. And hey, the next Federal election may be only 18 months away and the next municipal election is on October 15, 2022!

Best wishes.

Wayne Stetski,


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