Wayne’s World: On representing Kootenay-Columbia

MP Wayne Stetski writes about the challenges a large riding like Kootenay-Columbia

Wayne Stetski is the MP for Kootenay-Columbia.

“We’re going to have to buy some tissue for constituents coming into the office.”

One week into opening our office in Cranbrook and my assistant was already experiencing how emotional some of the issues are that we deal with. I now have offices and staff across three time zones, and every day they work with me to provide service for our 107,589 (2011 census) constituents, many of who are dealing with difficult personal situations.

Kootenay-Columbia (K-C) is one of the largest ridings in Canada at 64,336 square kilometres, with a driving time of just under six hours from corner to corner — quite a contrast to some urban ridings that you can drive across in 20 minutes! K-C incorporates three provincial ridings: Nelson-Creston (MLA Michelle Mungall), Columbia River-Revelstoke (MLA Norm Macdonald) and Kootenay East (MLA Bill Bennett). In a riding this size being home often means I am on the road.

While I am in Ottawa six months of the year, my four great staff in Cranbrook and Nelson are busy answering thousands of emails, hundreds of phone calls and meeting one-on-one with constituents. The most common topics raised relate to accessing and understanding federal government services like Employment Insurance, Immigration (including Syrian Refugees), Child Tax Credits, Canada Pension Plan and access to the Temporary Foreign Workers Program. We do our best to help people individually while also working to improve how the federal government operates long term.

My staff help me to hear what issues are most important to you, so that I can give you a voice in Ottawa. So far I have heard most about the need to fight climate change, the desire for proportional representation voting, eliminating tax loopholes for the rich, stopping the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal, the desire to have Canada-wide child care and pharmacare plans, better pensions for seniors, the need to have both a healthy economy and a healthy environment, reducing student debt, and concern over Canada’s growing budget deficits.

What do my staff in Ottawa and the riding like best about their jobs? “Working with constituents. Advocating for good public policy. Learning more about, and strengthening, our communities. Making a real difference for people on issues that matter to them. Helping people where I grew up. Building understanding about political and democratic processes and educating people on how to better participate in these processes. Advocating for National Parks. Working each day to help build a better Canada.”

I am so fortunate to have great staff who truly care about helping people!

Parliament takes a break from the end of June to mid-September so I look forward to connecting with many more of you in Kootenay-Columbia in the coming months. To find out when I’ll be in your neighborhood, please go to waynestetski.ndp.ca or email us at wayne.stetski@parl.gc.ca . Have a great summer!

 

Just Posted

McGarva, Grizzlies top Storm 3-0

Revelstoke remains unbeaten at home

UPDATE: Trans-Canada Highway is partially open east of Revelstoke

Road is open with single lane alternating traffic

Update: Police expand search in North Okanagan-Shuswap

Examination continues in Silver Creek, while another search happens between Salmon Arm and Enderby

Who is Curtis Sagmoen?

The Observer reveals what we know about the man attached to the Silver Creek property where human remains were found

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

WATCH: 10,000 signatures gained to stop ‘no pets’ rental policy

Pets OK BC said about 1,700 animals were surrendered to the BC SPCA last year due to housing issues

A golden opportunity

Orthodontist offers sweet deal for the pocketbook

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Dorsett has 2 goals, assist in Canucks’ 4-2 win over Sabres

‘It was a real good hockey game by our group,’ Canucks coach Travis Green said.

Most Read