Stetski’s Stance: Looking Ahead

Member of Parliament, Wayne Stetski was in Revelstoke over the weekend to partake in the Rod and Gun Club dinner banquet as well as host an open house at the Revelstoke Community Centre in the early afternoon on Saturday, February 24th.

After a decent stint in Parliament, Stetski is back for a short while connecting with the community and catching up with constituents.

Stetski sat down with the Revelstoke Current prior to the open house to share what was going on in Ottawa and what our riding can look forward to in the coming months.

The BC Liberal Government has introduced the fixes to the Environmental Legislation that were significantly altered by the Harper-Conservative Government. The Navigable Waters Act pertained to all rivers and lakes across Canada, the Conservatives reduced it to about 79 listed lakes and rivers (Kinbasket Lake was still included), a few of our surrounding water streams were listed, but many were not.

“It means that there were reduced protection in both a navigation perspective, but also from an anti-dumping provision that no longer covered lakes and rivers. A week ago, the Liberals have introduced legislation that we will be debating to add most of the rivers and lakes- if not all- it’s not quite the same as it was before but it will be much better.”

The previous Government took out the habitat section from the Fisheries Act, that would protect habitat and the Liberal Government would like to implement that program once again. With Stetski in opposition, his task and goal is to make that Legislation even better as it moves through the house.

“That is what we are doing, trying to make government better.” Stetski calmly stated.

Legalization of Marijuana will be proceeding sometime in the summer of 2018, there is some suggestion that there may be a delay because there has been some push back as to whether or not it is an appropriate day to launch this knew ruling. Perhaps a week delay will be sufficient for those that are not too keen on it becoming legalized on Canada’s Birthday.

This of course, draws concern for those that were never for the legalization of recreational use. The two main reasons for legalization were to keep it out of the hands of children and to eradicate it from the black market.

“The theory is, put it in liquor stores and regulate it, monitor it, and you will get rid of the unsavoury aspect to it, but there is a great deal of debate because there is research that suggests that excessive use impacts a growing brain until the age of 25-which are peak years to brain growth.”

The Province controls the age. Much like alcohol, Alberta could stick with 18 and B.C. could stick with 19, however, it is the Federal Government who will license the growers- or not.  The Outdoor Growers Co-op based in the West Kootenays who would like to become a legitimate part of the future but the Federal Government have a few concerns and stipulations that growers would become subject too.

“The federal Government are pushing back saying only under a roof or under glass; so giant greenhouses, large, large warehouses. They are reluctant to consider outdoor crops. If we do not incorporate the growers in this riding, it will not stop black market sales of marijuana in this part of the world.”

One Bill that Stetski would like to bring to the House of Commons is a rather unique concept that is definitely something that would benefit small markets, especially those that are involved in local food initiatives.

“I would like to put forward a Bill that the last Friday before Thanksgiving would be National Local Food Day; shining a light on local food, farmers markets and food security.”

While Stetski is in opposition, this concept may be well received by all walks of life from every different political spectrum as it comes form a place of local love, health and wellness and is ultimately about the betterment of people.

In terms of the age old question of ‘What is happening with the Trans-Canada Highway, Stetski stated that with the budget coming out very soon, we shall see what is in the budget for the Federally owned sections of the highway in our area.