From left: David Wilks

From left: David Wilks

Candidates take debate to Cranbrook

Candidates for federal election in the Kootenay-Columbia riding sat down to take questions at the JCI All Candidates Forum Tuesday.

Arne Petryshen

On Tuesday night, the four candidates for the federal election in the Kootenay-Columbia riding sat down to take questions from one another as well as this submitted by the audience at the JCI All Candidates Forum.

Conservative candidate David Wilks, Liberal candidate Don Johnston, Green Party candidate Bill Green and NDP candidate Wayne Stetski answered questions on the economy, environment, Canada’s role overseas and whether they are a dog or cat person.

The answer to the last question is they are all — every single one of them — dog persons. So if you were hoping to vote for the candidate who favours feline companionship, you’re out of luck.

The event was at the Key City Theatre.

As for the more serious three-quarters of the debate, Wayne Stetski came out swinging against David Wilks, saying he wants to be the region’s strong voice in Ottawa. Stetski noted that in 2012 Wilks made national headlines for saying that one member of parliament will not make a difference in Ottawa.

“I disagree with Mr. Wilks and I will make the difference for you in Ottawa,” he said.

Much later in the forum, when asked about voting on conscience and supporting constituents over party whip, Wilks fired back at Stetski.

Wilks said as a member of parliament, in a pretty with party status, when there is a confidence motion on a budget there is no choice.

“You will vote with the party, and if you don’t you will be an independent the next day,” Wilks said. He gave the example of two NDP MPs that voted against the gun registry. “The very next day, they were removed from all of their committees, they lost all their library privileges, they lost all their privileges within the house of commons. And who put those in? Tom Mulcair. That’s the punishment for doing that.”

Wilks did note that there are many other votes that come forward. Wilks noted that within the Conservative party he was the MP who voted most against his own party or with other parties in the past four and a half years.

Stetski replied that his job if elected is to represent the constituents of this riding in Ottawa. He noted he had concerns about that and so met with Alex Atamanenko MP for British Columbia Southern Interior. Stetski said Atamanenko told him there were two occasions when he had to sit down with the leader to say he couldn’t vote with the party.

“They had discussions and in the end they reached a compromise that allowed him to support the party,” Stetski said.

“If there are consequences there are consequences, but my job is to be your strong voice in Ottawa and that’s why I’m doing this.”

Bill Green added that voted for the constituents is important, but there also needs to be a consensus.

“There’s a huge diversity of views in this room and indeed across this riding, so how do we know when we’re voting for the wishes of this riding?” asked Green. “We have to work at that. We have to work with internet tools, with town meetings, etcetera to find out if there is a consensus.”

Don Johnston said he agreed with Wilks that there are times you have to vote with the party on the budget, platform promises and anything that convenes the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“The problem with the current situation is that when you put a budget together with a bunch of omnibus bills, but whip the vote because it’s a budget bill, that’s where it all falls apart,” Johnston said. “That’s where people are put in a position where they sometimes have to support something that personally, deep in their own heart, they would not do, but it’s a budget bill, so the price that you pay can be pretty heavy.”

Johnston said the Liberals will put in administrative regulations that will limit the use of omnibus bills.

Among other questions that were asked of the candidates was their stances on a national pharmacare plan, food security, balancing the environment and the economy, and Canada’s role in overseas missions.

When asked what they thought the biggest issue facing the Kootenay-Columbia riding was the candidates had answers along the same wavelength.

For Bill Green it was issue of poverty, especially that of children and seniors. He said the Green party would bring in a liveable wage.

Don Johnston agreed on poverty being the biggest issue. He said the Liberal’s planned child benefit will go to those who need it most. EH said a large social infrastructure program will include affordable housing, affordable mental accommodation, senior facilities and childcare facilities.

David Wilks said it is that seniors housing is lacking and so many seniors are forced to move to unfamiliar towns and have trouble adapting and can become lonely. Wilks noted the Lilac Terrace development for seniors in Sparwood as an example of something that has helped to remedy the issue.

Wayne Stetski said it is a difficult question because there are so many social issues to deal with in Canada. Stetski said it was hard to believe there are 500 homeless people in a city like Cranbrook. Stetski said the best thing the government could do was provide more housing.

 

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

1914
It happened this week in 1914

June 13 - 19: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

Cranbrook Arts has opened the doors of their  new gallery space to the public with their inaugural exhibit, Kootenay’s Best.
‘Kootenay’s Best’ opens Cranbrook Arts’ new gallery

This exhibit has been in the works for the past several months and features the work of more than 50 emerging and established artists from across the Kootenays

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Most Read