CPC Riding President Responds to NDP Candidate on Debates

July 31, 2019

This debate challenge was constructed to reach through Party politics and land on common ground for all involved, but Mr. Stetski has turned this into a political circus...

Wayne Stetski’s challenge in the 2015 election, to then Conservative MP David Wilks, included the formation of a committee made up of a member from each candidate’s team, which would help streamline eight debates across the riding, to assure full candidate attendance. Conservatives think that Mr Stetski’s Committee idea was a good one.

We also agree with Bill Green’s assessment, at the time, that Constituents should not have to drive more than 30 minutes to attend, thus the reason we increased the number of debates proposed. From the outset this debate challenge was constructed to reach through Party politics and land on common ground for all involved.

While Mr. Stetski has said recently that he would not participate in a debate organized by a specific party he knows, because this specific component was his idea, that this is not a Conservative Committee, but rather a multi-Party Committee with a specific purpose to help the community organizations who are responsible for organizing the debates. This was an unfortunate attempt to mislead and throw shade on his own idea.

Further, the idea that a multi-Party Debate Committee in a Federal Election would proceed without a Liberal Candidate is absurd. This caveat to participating, provided by the NDP Candidate, is nothing more than an attempt to once again throw shade on his own idea and misdirect the good people of the riding. This type of behaviour is beneath the office of a Parliamentarian and we believe that Kootenay-Columbians expect more transparency from this Federal representative.

Mr. Stetski also knows that these community organizations, who organize the debates, need time to prepare. He knows that what we are proposing is fair to them, but he continues to hide, avoid and deflect. He has repeatedly used this debate challenge to secure coverage in the media, but has failed to follow through by sending the one piece of communication that matters, which is an email to the multi-Party Debate Committee to confirm his participation, his terms and who his representative on the Committee will be.

He has taken an a-political and constructive concept, his concept, and made it political. It is unfortunate, but instead of simply saying yes to the process of bringing democracy to the people of Kootenay-Columbia via these debates, Mr. Stetski has created a partisan island for himself where he is the lone resident. While he sits there, buying time to sort out how he plans to answer for his voting record we’ll get to the non-partisan and constructive work, with the other Parties, to streamline the process for these community organizations who will be hosting the debates. He is, of course, welcome to join the conversation at anytime.

Time will tell if he is prepared to answer for his voting record at, every one of these debates, or if all of this for him is as he has said, “blowing smoke”.

Chris Bird

President, Kootenay-Columbia Conservative Association