LETTER: MP should have West Kootenay office

From former Kootenay-Columbia MP Wayne Stetski

I was happy to open my mailbox last week to find a newsletter from our Member of Parliament. MPs are encouraged to keep in touch with their constituents. There is no cost to MP’s budgets to send us information, nor for you to send responses and concerns to your MP.

I appreciate our MP’s interest in gas prices. I am sure he is aware that in May 2019, Premier John Horgan directed the BC Utilities Commission to conduct an inquiry into gasoline and diesel prices in BC. This led to the NDP introducing Bill 42 – BC’s Fuel Transparency Act, in November 2019, requiring companies in the fuel industry in BC to report information and data on their activities. This will surely be helpful to MP Morrison as he looks into the issue.

The newsletter says MP Rob Morrison’s office in Cranbrook is on Baker Street. However, at the moment, there is a sign on the door directing callers to Suite C – 415 Industrial Road A, so to save time and energy, you could go directly there Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. if you want to ask for some help. This is due to a combination of renovations and a car crash into the building on Baker Street.

Unfortunately, there is still only one constituency office in this riding — it is in Cranbrook. I know there is enough money in the Kootenay–Columbia riding budget to staff two permanent offices that would then ensure that all of the constituents in the riding are well-served and the people of the West Kootenay have easier access to their MP.

When someone becomes a Member of Parliament, her or his party leader will ask them for their priorities in taking on a role as a critic, the objective being for every MP to have a specialty area to work on. It is appropriate that Rob Morrison is the critic for public safety and emergency preparedness, given his career was with law enforcement and policing. It did make me smile a little to see the Conservative Party prefers to call their critics “deputy shadow ministers.” In Conservative Speak, that would mean I was the “deputy shadow minister” for national parks when I was MP – kind of has a ring to it!

The newsletter also asks for input, which is great. However, on the list of issues we are asked to rank in order of importance, I did not see the climate emergency or transitioning to a green economy or affordable housing. I very much hope in the next newsletter such choices are available.

Wayne Stetski

Cranbrook

The writer was the MP for Kootenay-Columbia from 2015-19

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