Ashcroft could provide the region’s next Member of Parliament if local resident and retired mayor Andy Anderson is successful in seeking the Conservative nomination in the new Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon riding.
The new riding replaces the former Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon held by MP Mark Strahl and before him, his father Chuck Strahl.
Anderson says the idea of running federally came to him while he was promoting Ashcroft Terminal – Ashcroft’s inland port – as Mayor. He made many contacts and learned much about national as well as international infrastructure and trade.
One of his goals, he says, is to make the benefits that come out of the Asia-Pacific Gateway accessible to all communities, especially those situated along water routes or train tracks.
He also wants to see federal infrastructure grants become more accessible to small, rural communities.
“I’ve made a lot of connections through working with Ashcroft Terminal,” he says. “The riding includes a lot of rural communities. It’s a new riding, and a new opportunity for a rural voice.”
Morley H. Anderson is better known as Andy Anderson to his friends and colleagues. He is a businessman, community volunteer and regional advocate and he recently retired as the Mayor of Ashcroft after serving for 10 years.
Anderson moved to Ashcroft as an eight year old in 1965. He took his schooling here and then worked at Bethlehem Copper (now Highland Valley Copper). For several years he operated a successful trucking business in the Revelstoke area but found that his heart remained in Ashcroft. So, in 1994 he purchased the hardware store and moved back. Since that time he has purchased additional businesses and his son and family assist with the overall operations.
He is a past President of the Ashcroft Chamber of Commerce, is the founder and co-Chair of the Cache Creek Airport Mother’s Day Fly In; an avid participant of the Barnes Lake Ice Races and passionate promoter of the Ashcroft Terminal project.
During his 10 years as Mayor, he met with and lobbied various levels of Government and saw the Ashcroft Terminal progress from not much more than an idea to an operating trans loading facility that is growing larger every day. In addition, he guided the community through a number of long term projects including upgrades to the water and sewer systems, a new community brand and test sites for hot water and photovoltaic systems. He also never missed an opportunity to discuss the shortage of physicians in the rural areas and donated apartment space for new doctors for several months when necessary. For his work and dedication he was awarded the Queen’s Jubilee Medal in 2013.
Anderson understands the way that government operates and has seen first hand the success that can be achieved when everyone works together for the greater god for the entire area. He believes that rural British Columbia is one of the worst kept secrets as most communities offer a quality of life and cost of living that allows young families a lifestyle of work and play. He would like to see more jobs relocated from the larger centres so that young families can afford to move back home.
As he spent his early years in the Bridge River area, he understands the vast area that this new riding covers. He has spent literally thousands of hours on the road and is up to the challenge of meeting and representing the citizens in this new Mission Matsqui Fraser Canyon riding.