Outgoing MP reflects on term in office

Outgoing MP reflects on term in office

Wayne Stetski was MP for Kootenay-Columbia for last four years

Wayne Stetski, outgoing Member of Parliament (MP) for Kootenay-Columbia, was in a contemplative mood when interviewed a few days after the election.

He recalls walking into the historic House of Commons after the election in 2015.

“To take your chair – you just sit there and you just think of the stories that have been created there. The words, the people, that have sat there for almost 100 years. There is no feeling quite like that particular feeling, one you never forget,” he said. “That’s where much of Canada was made, and we are one of the best countries in the world. To be part of that is very very special.”

Overall, he said, he is happy with what he accomplished as MP of this riding.

“We’ve helped hundreds of people over the last four years. That’s one of the things we pride ourselves on is good public service,” Mr. Stetski said. “We did work really hard on behalf of our constituents, both in dealing with casework in the riding, but also taking their issues forward to Ottawa.”

When asked what he is most proud of from his time in office, Mr. Stetski listed a number of initiatives that came to mind, including the 20-horsepower regulation for the Columbia River main stem; having a national local food day bill pass through the House of Commons (though it did not pass at the Senate level); supporting the work of the Ktunaxa band to receive $16 million for study in the Qat’muk area (which includes the Jumbo Valley), and $25 million funding for Avalanche Canada, as some examples.

General voting day of October 21 was not the last day of work for Mr. Stetski. By November 11, he needs to have all three of his offices vacated, be cleared out of his apartment in Ottawa, and have laid off all six of his staff (two in Cranbrook’s office, two in Nelson’s, two in Ottawa). All the equipment must be inventoried and returned as it belongs to the House of Commons. All casework is confidential and therefore must be shredded, so Mr. Stetski’s staff have been busy contacting constituents who had raised issues with his office, informing them they will need to restate their case to the new MP.

Once his end-of-term duties are wrapped up, Mr. Stetski plans to take some time off to reconnect with family and friends. When asked if he will run for office again, Mr. Stetski, he said he will have to see where life goes. But the election signs, he shared, are just in storage for now.

So, what is his advice to incoming MP Rob Morrison? To be nonpartisan, and to be accessible to all constituents, he said, as well as having staff in the West and East Kootenay.

To his supporters, Mr. Stetski said thanks for the opportunity to represent the people of Kootenay-Columbia for the last four years.

“You get to help people every day, you get to try and make a better Canada every day.,” he said. “With all the incredible constituents that I have, you learn from them every day. It’s very fulfilling. If you enjoy lifelong learning, which I do, there’s no better job than that.”

Just Posted

The City of Cranbrook and the Ktunaxa Nation raised the flag of the Ktunaxa Nation at the arches entrance into the city’s downtown core during a ceremony on Monday, June 21. Photo courtesy City of Cranbrook.
Ktunaxa Nation flag raised at downtown arches entrance

The Ktunaxa Nation flag was raised at the Cranbrook arches — the… Continue reading

Kimberley Search and Rescue were able to quickly respond to a call for service and transport an injured mountain biker to East Kootenay Regional Hospital over the weekend. Kimberley SAR file photo.
Kimberley Search and Rescue respond to injured mountain biker on Bootleg Mountain

Kimberley Search and Rescue responded to a call for service this past… Continue reading

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

City of Cranbrook, Ktunaxa Nation to host flag ceremony on National Indigenous Peoples Day. (Corey Bullock file)
City of Cranbrook, Ktunaxa Nation hosting flag ceremony on National Indigenous Peoples Day

A temporary road closure and speed limit reduction will be in effect during the ceremony

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

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

Most Read