Liberal candidate sets up shop in Trail

“I take very seriously, the need to find out what people want from me in the West Kootenay.” - Connie Denesiuk

Although Prime Minister Stephen Harper hasn’t officially declared the beginning of federal election campaigning, local Liberal candidate Connie Denesiuk wants to hear from her constituents.

Denesiuk is extending an open invitation to anyone who has questions or comments to stop by the newly opened Trail campaign office on Bay Avenue.

“I take very seriously, the need to find out what people want from me in the West Kootenay,” she said, adding that the newly shaped South Okanagan-West Kootenay riding provides unique challenges to candidates.

“There are more than 40 communities represented in this new riding and I am making it my business to find out what people are thinking (before the election).

“Trail is not like Castlegar and Rossland is not like Trail. One size doesn’t fit all here.”

The Summerland resident chose Trail as the site for a campaign office because it is centralized in the newly drawn riding. Previously, many campaign offices have been in Nelson, which is no longer in the riding, or in Castlegar, where NDP candidate Richard Cannings opened his Kootenay campaign office this past weekend.

“Trail is central to so many communities like those in the Beaver Valley, Rossland and it isn’t far from Castlegar,” said Denesiuk. “To me, it just makes sense to have our office in Trail.”

NDP candidate Dick Cannings opened his office in Castlegar last Sunday while Conservative candidate, Marshall Neufeld, hasn’t committed to any campaign office locations yet.

Denesiuk was in the Silver City this past weekend, putting some finishing touches on the new office, and while here, she had a chance to chat with constituents about what they needed from her as a federal representative.

“There have been a lot of issues that I have been hearing about, but one that I think is important, and it connects to providing jobs and keeping young people in the community, is infrastructure,” she said. “It provides well-paying jobs, especially for young people. We know there are infrastructure deficits in Trail and the communities surrounding it. We always look at infrastructure in terms of bigger cities, but we need to remember that the smaller resource communities are the backbone of our country.”

Denesiuk showed concern over the lone vehicle crossing over the Columbia River in Trail, and wants to know if voters agree.

“When I was in Trail, there was a fire truck going across the (Victoria Street bridge) and I thought, ‘what if something happened on that one bridge?’” she said. “It puts the region in a vulnerable position. I think another access across the river would be good. I know there is the pedestrian bridge, but I think this is a piece of infrastructure that constituents will want to work towards. We have unique issues and people here like it that way. They enjoy the small communities. I want to give people a chance to give feedback and to just engage the people of the Lower Columbia and the West Kootenay.”

Denesiuk’s newly opened Trail campaign office is located at 1205 Bay Ave, and will be staffed three or four days a week on a consistent basis by volunteers.