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Kootenay East MLA reflects on events of 2020

From dealing with a pandemic to being re-elected, Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka said 2020 has been an eventful year for him in provincial politics.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has been infecting British Columbians, Shypitka said the provincial government needs to amend the rules to reflect the diverse communities of B.C.

“We have some very concentrated populations down in the Lower Mainland, and no too much out here. This one rule fits all thing has a lot of people scratching their heads, and some of the inconsistencies on places of worship and other types of practices that people do, don’t seem to be in sync with what we see,” said Shypitka. “You see 150 people in a large supermarket, and yet we can’t have 20 or 30 people in a church. Those kinds of inconsistencies really confuse people and it brings a lot of animosity and division.”

In October of 2020, the province went through an election, seeing the NDP secure more seats, while Shypitka got re-elected to represent Kootenay East for the BC Liberal party.

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Even though he secured his seat, Shypitka feels having an election amid the COVID-19 pandemic was unnecessary.

“It was a political ploy to re-elect an NDP government that was sitting high on public opinion. Largely, that public opinion came from the sacrifice of our front-line workers and our businesses. It also came from a total collaboration from all parties inside the legislature, the BC Liberals and the Greens all put partisanship aside and said we’ll get on-board with the NDP and do what’s best for British Columbia,” explained Shypitka.

Following his victory in the 2020 B.C. Election, Shypitka was appointed to the Liberal party’s shadow cabinet.

“I was announced as the Critic for Energy, Mines and Low-Carbon Innovation, and I couldn’t;t be happier or more proud to receive that appointment. I’ll be working on permitting, speedy and reliable processes, and bringing our competitiveness back to the sector, such as LNG Canada, Trans-Mountain, Site C and all of our mining friends that do what we need to do to bring ourselves to a low-carbon economy,” said Shypitka.

More: Shypitka and Clovechok officially re-elected following final vote count (Nov 9, 2020)

More: BC Liberals appoint Tom Shypitka to shadow cabinet (Dec 1, 2020)

Shypitka said the year has been difficult on many people, but he recognizes the resiliency shown by B.C. residents.

“It’s been tough, uncertain and scary, a lot of words can describe it, but we’ve done our part here in Kootenay East. We’ve had very little outbreak compared to some of the other parts of the province, and I think that’s largely in part thanks to the heroics of our front-line workers and those businesses that suffered greatly and everybody else that stepped up to the call,” said Shypitka.

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