Bill Bennett's New Democrat challenger says the East Kootenay Liberal legislator, "really needs to understand he's there to represent all his constituents and to listen to them and not to attack anyone who has a different point of view." Troy Sebastian made the comments after Public Eye exclusively revealed the tourism, sport and the arts minister had described a tourism operator in his constituency as having "bigoted" and "ignorant" opinions. This, after the operator wrote an email criticizing Minister Bennett for talking more about coalbed methane development than the tourism industry.
"It's clear that the tone of the response is an attack and really defensive," said Mr. Sebastian. "People in the community deserve to know they can approach their local MLA without being publicly attacked or humiliated. And that's one of the main reasons I'm running in this campaign."
"You're always in public life going to be faced with challenges when you make a decision or government takes a certain approach. And there's people who are going to be your constituents who are not going to be in favour of that or who are going to be critical. And that's just part of the job," he continued. "It's fair game for people to say they're disappointed with your decisions. You may disagree with them as a representative. But the way to deal with that is to deal with that with respect and not the way Bill has."