Reactions are starting to come in following the NDP’s victory in the riding of Kootenay Columbia.
The Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce issued a congratulatory press release to candidate Wayne Stetski on Tuesday morning, who unseated incumbent conservative David Wilks.
“I want to congratulate Mr. Stetski on his accomplishment at the polls,” said Chamber board chair Dave Struthers. “The Chamber looks forward to working with Mr. Stetski as our representative in Ottawa.”
The Cranbrook Chamber, under the national Canadian Chamber network, took a role in the election by releasing a platform focusing on accessibility to workforce, markets, capital and technology as key priorities for the next government.
“The Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce is the vital connection between local business and the federal government,” said David D. Hull, the Chamber Executive Director. “We will work with Mr. Stetski to advance our issues and positions in Ottawa.
The Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce thanked MP David Wilks for his over four years of dedication and service to the people of Cranbrook and the riding.
“Mr. Wilks was a very good MP. Always accessible and very understanding of Chamber’s work to build business and the community.” said Hull.
Kimberley mayor Don McCormick said the election was a mix of emotions and consequences for the region in what was one of the most hotly-contested ridings in the country.
“Whenever you get a close race like that—congratulations to the winner, in this case, Wayne Stetski, but also when it’s an incumbent that gets beat, it’s time to recognize that Dave Wilks took four years of his life to represent the riding and for that we’re very appreciative,” McCormick said.
Regardless of a Conservative or NDP win, whomever came out on to of the Kootenay-Columbia results would not be serving a party that formed government, McCormick added.
“We are not going to have an MP that is part of a sitting government and I think for the riding, that is probably the biggest disappointment that I have,” McCormick said. “It’s no secret that you really need to have a Member of Parliament, or an MLA at the provincial level—whomever your representative is—having them as a member of the sitting government means a whole lot better things for the riding.”
However, that being said, McCormick is eager to get down to business with Stetski and advocate for Kimberley’s municipal issues and priorities.