BEYOND THE HEADLINES: Stinson speaks out

Darrel Stinson has never minced words and especially when it comes to the democratic process

Darrel Stinson has never minced words and especially when it comes to the democratic process.

And that’s not unexpected as the Spallumcheen resident rose from humble roots as a ranch kid to serve as Okanagan-Shuswap MP from 1993 to 2006. It provided the one-time prospector and store owner with a voice and the ability to stand up for what he believed in.

Given the opportunities Canada provided him, Stinson is serious about the fundamental bond between rank-and-file citizens and government.

That’s why he gets frustrated when he hears that many Canadians will not cast a  ballot in the Oct. 19 election.

“When you think of what was sacrificed to give us the vote and then people don’t vote, I don’t understand. People died for us,” he says referring to the two world wars and other conflicts.

“To say the hockey game or Dancing with the Stars is more important than voting, doesn’t make sense.”

It’s often said that people don’t vote because of rampant cynicism. They believe that no matter what, elected officials are only there for themselves and will ignore the wishes of constituents.

However, Stinson says, based on his experiences in the House of Commons, that a lot of good people are sent to Ottawa from various political stripes and the public is their priority.

“For the most part, they do listen. I hope they still do.”

In an attempt to turn the tide and increase future voter participation, Stinson would like to see more emphasis placed on government and civic responsibilities in the classroom.

He was heartened to hear that 70 Clarence Fulton Secondary students recently attended an all candidates forum for their social studies class.

“I used to love going to the schools and talking to them,” he said.

But he was discouraged to hear that at another forum, some in the crowd yelled at candidates and disrupted the proceedings.

“It doesn’t matter which party, they have put their lives on hold and their family’s, and when their family is sitting there and hear that, it’s upsetting,” said Stinson, who gained a reputation himself for being aggressive in the House.

“If you (hecklers) have that much guts, run for office yourself. Have respect for the candidates.”

Like many Canadians, Stinson is watching the TV news and reading the papers leading up to the election. He isn’t surprised by the tone.

“You always hear the negatives and not the positives. It’s not much different than when I was running,” he said.

Stinson still doesn’t put much stock in opinion polls, adding that the numbers can distract a candidate or party from the job at hand.

“I always looked at it that I was running from behind the pack and I did what I could to get elected,” he said.

With some predicting a tight three-way race between the Conservatives, Liberals and NDP nationally, Stinson is hopeful his Tories can earn a majority. But he admits there is always a level of uncertainty.

“With most elections, we were trailing and then when the polls closed, we pulled through.”

And that’s why every vote counts.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tanya (Erin Ormond), Donna (Stephanie Roth, and Rosie (Jenni Burke), laugh together in this scene from a rehearsal of ‘Mamma Mia!’ at the Chemainus Theatre. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
BOOMER TALK: Laughter is the best medicine

Vernon columnist Carole Fawcett reminds us all to enjoy the funny things in life, it’s good for us

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Interior Health reports 2 more deaths, 83 new COVID-19 cases

Health authority also identifies new virus cluster in Fernie

Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo will discuss concerns and goals the City of Armstrong has at a special meeting with council Thursday, Jan. 28, at 5 p.m. (Black Press - file photo)
Shuswap MLA to hear Armstrong concerns, goals

Greg Kyllo of the opposition Liberals will meet with Armstrong council Thursday, Jan. 28

Vernon’s Noric House long-term care facility is dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
COVID-19: Two more deaths at Vernon’s Noric House

Total deaths climb to 17 at local long-term care outbreaks

The Rice Box owner On Ouchs (right) is joined by special guest Driver Dispatcher delivery person Spiderman for a recent shift. Ouchs’ phone app creation, Driver Dispatcher, will be raising money for mental health Saturday, Jan. 30. (Facebook photo)
Vernon phone app helps mental health

Driver Dispatcher will donate $5 from every delivery Saturday, Jan. 30, to supporting mental health

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

Crown prosecutors have stayed attempted murder charges against Kelowna’s Jesse Pez. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Man accused in Kelowna Halloween stabbing has attempted murder charge stayed

The Crown only proceeds with charges when evidence provides ‘a substantial likelihood of conviction’

RCMP released this photo on Jan. 27, 2021 of Terrance Jones, 40, a Caucasian man with a closely shaved head, brown eyes, dirty blonde or brown hair, and a thin mustache and beard. The inside of his right arm is covered in tattoos, including one of a face. (Kamloops RCMP photo)
RCMP want public’s help to locate Shuswap man wanted on charge of attempted murder

Sicamous man was arrested previously on Jan. 11 for allegedly breaching conditions of release

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Most Read