Stetski running to continue public service

Former Cranbrook mayor wades back into politics, running for federal NDP.

Wayne Stetski

Wayne Stetski

When Wayne Stetski lost the mayoral seat in the recent municipal election, he had some time to think about his immediate future.

His phone began to ring in December with offers and encouragement to get into federal politics.

He sat down and wrote a letter to himself.

As he wrote, a picture began to form with the theme of ‘Missing Canada.’

While unhappy with the way things have gone under the Harper Government—he singled out the military’s shift away from peacekeeping, the treatment of veterans, laying off federal scientists and the use of whipped votes and omnibus bills, among others—Stetski said he still feels called to public service.

“I wrote that letter in about 15 minutes and I’ve never been one to sit and complain about things unless I was willing to step up and do something about it,” said Stetski.

As an elected official or as a public servant in his previous career as a regional manager with the Ministry of Environment, public service is about relationships, Stetski says.

“I really value that one-on-one relationship and I’ve said to people before, if you’re going to get involved in public life, it really has to start with liking people, and I really like people,” Stetski said. “It starts with a fundamental belief that public service is one of the highest callings in life. Not everybody shares that.”

On Wednesday, Stetski announced his intention to run for the New Democratic Party in the upcoming federal election after a three-year term as the mayor of Cranbrook.

In addition to serving as mayor for three years, Stetski ran and narrowly lost to former mayor Scott Manjak in 2008.

During his time in municipal office, Stetski said he tried to take what he called a ‘holistic’ approach to governing.

“That means, yes, the economy is important and roads are important, sewer and water is important,” Stetski said. “But so is multiculturalism, so are the arts, so are youths, so are seniors, so I’d see all of these issues crossing my desk and there are some people who would say municipal government shouldn’t be looking at those things at all, but I cared about all of them.”

As mayor, Stetski said he faced issues such as affordable housing, physician recruitment and the challenges of door-to-door postal delivery—all of which he said are federal government responsibilities.

“There were a number of issues that crossed my desk as mayor that had federal responsibility where in my mind, the federal government was not doing what it was supposed to be doing,” Stetski said.

Stetski will officially kick off his campaign on Sunday, March 15, at the Manual Training Centre in Cranbrook at 1 p.m.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A man wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Vancouver on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
212 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

A total of 490 cases remain active; 15 in hospital

Incumbent MLA Tom Shypitka is contesting Kootenay East for the BC Liberals. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Shypitka named opposition critic for Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation

The Kootenay East MLA has held the energy and mines portfolio since 2017

Item no 22, De-Kieviet Kindergarten class - Highlands, Starting Bid: $20
Christmas Village 2020 school auction items

The annual Christmas Village has gone virtual, here are the auction items from local schools

File Photo
Missing hunter found dead in South Country

A hunter was reported as overdue on Nov. 29, and was found deceased on Nov. 30 following an RCMP and SAR operation

Tamarack Mall in Cranbrook is preparing for Santa’s arrival on December 12. Photos will be available from a distance, similar to what is pictured above with this family from Ontario. Masks will also be required for anyone over the age of two. (Photo courtesy of Chloe Einboden)
Physically distanced photos with Santa

Tamarack Centre in Cranbrook is preparing for Santa’s arrival on December 12

The bids for the 2020 Christmas Village are open as of noon on Thursday, November 26. Please scroll through this album to see auction items available for bidding.
Christmas Village 2020 auction items

The Christmas Village has gone virtual, here are all the details

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Kettle bells sit aligned in an indoor fitness studio. (
1 COVID-19 case at a B.C. fitness studio leads to 104 more infections, 6 school exposures

According to case data released by Fraser Health, one case of the novel coronavirus carries a big impact

Vehicles drive past a display thanking essential workers in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
B.C. changing COVID-19 case reporting as virus spread continues

Manual counting takes more time, leads to errors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Christy Jordan-Fenton is the co-author of the book Fatty Legs, which has been mentioned amid the controversy of an Abbotsford school assignment on residential schools.
Co-author of residential schools book condemns controversial Abbotsford class assignment

Children’s book mentioned amid controversy at W. A. Fraser Middle School

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka takes over as energy and mines critic for the B.C. Liberal opposition. Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick (right) moves from health critic to assistant deputy speaker. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals pick critics to take on Horgan’s NDP majority

Interim leader Shirley Bond takes seniors, long-term care

Most Read