A woman enters Maple High School in Vaughan, Ont., to cast her vote in the Canadian federal election on Monday, Oct. 19, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Power

Seven candidates running in Kootenay-Columbia

Five party candidates and two independents have stepped forward so far

Last weekend’s Liberal party candidate announcement brings the Kootenay-Columbia federal riding up to a full contingent of candidates vying for your vote this October. Cranbrook-based business woman Robin Goldsbury was announced in a news release sent out last weekend.

“Rural is relevant! We are relevant! Together we have the creative, collaborative and workable solutions for sustainable rural vitality. What’s needed is the enthusiasm and the smarts to grab the government’s attention and get the work done,” she said in a news release.

Incumbent MP Wayne Stetski is running again. He was nominated by Kootenay-Columbia NDP members back in November.

“I am honoured to have the opportunity to represent the NDP for another election and to keep fighting alongside NDP leader Jagmeet Singh for people who keep getting squeezed, while the richest people and richest corporations come out ahead. I hope to earn the trust of the people of Kootenay-Columbia once again so I can keep working hard for them and make sure they get what they need from their government,” said Mr. Stetski in his press release.

The Conservative flag will be waved by Rob Morrison, who won the nomination last October in a closely-watched race against two local candidates: Dale Shudra (councillor in Radium Hot Springs) and Wendy Booth (former Area F director).

“We want to take action, we want results but we don’t want to promise everything; we just want to get out there and represent our people with our concerns here. I think that’s what resonated with everyone and, as a result, I think that’s where the support came from,” said Mr. Morrison following the nomination.

Nelson’s Abra Brynne won the Green party’s nomination over Fernie’s Kerri Wall in July.

“I want to bring something positive to the voters of the riding because everyone I am talking to is tired of divisive us-and-them politics and I think it is vitally important that we work together to address the critical needs that are in front of us,” said Ms. Brynne.

A new party to this election, the People’s Party of Canada, has a candidate in the riding named Rick Stewart. The People’s Party of Canada is a conservative-leaning party created by former Conservative Party minister Maxime Bernier.

“I want the PPC to split the Conservative and NDP vote and come right up the middle in this riding. If it doesn’t happen, fair enough. But I don’t see either one of the three outcomes, apart from a PPC win, which is what I think our country and the people in this riding need right now, is a win by PPC,” said Mr. Stewart.

Two fringe candidates are running: Trev Miller is running for the Animal Protection Party, while Terry Tiessen is representing the Libertarian Party.

The Kootenay-Columbia Riding encompasses the Columbia Valley, south to Cranbrook and Fernie, west to Creston, Salmo and Nelson, and north to Golden, and Revelstoke.Mr. Stetski took 37.2 per cent of the votes in the 2015 federal election, followed closely by David Wilks for the Conservative party of Canada at 36.2 per cent of the votes. The Liberal Party came in a distant third with 19.5 per cent of the votes, and the Green Party gathered 6.5 per cent of the overall ballots.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was expected to ask Gov. Gen. Julie Payette to dissolve Parlimanent, formally kicking off the election campaign, Wednesday, Sept 11th (after the Pioneer’s press time).

With files from Trevor Crawley / Bill Metcalfe

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