Residents who were home on Saturday may have had an unexpected guest on their doorstep.
Kootenay-Columbia MP Wayne Stetski was in Golden, going door to door, knocking and talking to constituents about their concerns with the federal government.
“I want to check in with people, see how they’re doing, and make sure they know of the services we offer as members of parliament,” Stetski said.
While he was in town, he also made a presentation to Atma Sandher for his years of volunteering in Golden.
“Communities are great places, and are great places to live, and a lot of it is because of the commitment of volunteers,” Stetski said.
On his drive, Stetski stopped in the communities between Radium and Golden, talking with locals to get an idea of their questions and concerns with the federal government.
En Route, many people echoed their concerns about highway safety during the Kicking Horse Canyon project. While the highway is closed for periods of time, traffic will be rerouted through Radium and up Highway 95 toward Golden.
“While they appreciate that may bring more business, they are quite concerned with highway safety for local residents who use that highway,” Stetski said. “It was pretty consistent along that route that it potentially might bring more business, but there’s a cost.”
Highway 95 safety would be a provincial issue, but Stetski says he is in touch with the Ministry of Highways and Transportation.
Other concerns Stetski heard while visiting Golden included funding for people with disabilities.
A lot of those issues are provincial as well, but Stetski says he understands the issues that arise due to lack of funding.
“Absolutely, tying to survive on funding that one gets on disability is very challenging for people,” he said.
Other funding issues included child tax credits, which are no longer provided once the child turns 18.
“In essence, a lot of times, these 18 year olds are still living at home, and it can make a big difference in the income, particularly if you’re a single parent trying to maintain a family,” he said. “Losing that money is very difficult for them.”
Stetski is available via e-mail for anyone who has questions or concerns about federal government issues.
“What I ask for is for people to e-mail me their particular issue or concern so we can work on it and get answers from federal ministers to make sure individuals get what they are entitled to,” he explained.
Aside from his visit, Stetski has had Golden on his mind for quite some time. In 2016, rafting companies lost access to the lower Kicking Horse Canyon, when CP Rail blocked the crossing. Since then, Stetski has worked to resolve the issue.
No agreement has been made about rafting access, but it is Steski’s hope that when the Kicking Horse Canyon Project moves forward to upgrade the Trans-Canada Highway considerations will be made to allow access.
“I continue to keep in touch with a rafting representative in Golden, and also with the B.C. Ministry of Transportation to make sure that we finally get a long term resolution to that issue,” Stetski said. “There was a meeting, and interested parties met and are seeing a way forward… We very much would like to see that issue resolved over the nest two years, as highway construction gets undertaken and completed.”
Stetski also seeks to ensure highway safety while traffic flows through Golden during closures at the Kicking Horse Canyon, planned for 2020. He wants to see traffic enforcement along Highway 95 to ensure people and communities are safe.
“My interest is because it is of concern to my constituents. I absolutely would like to see those resolved,” he said.
To contact MP Stetski with federal issues, phone him at 250-417-2250 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also visit www.waynestetski.ndp.ca/contact-us.