Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon Conservative MP Brad Vis. (Photo credit: Submitted)

New MP committed to serving all residents of far-flung riding

Brad Vis says a representative will be in Ashcroft/Cache Creek regularly to help constituents

New Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon Conservative MP Brad Vis is having some sleepless nights, but it’s not because he recently took his seat in the House of Commons for the first time.

Just over five weeks after his election on Oct. 21, Vis and his wife Kathleen welcomed their second son, Nicholas, who joins older brother Declyn. It’s been a whirlwind time for the rookie MP but veteran political staffer, who within two days of parliament recessing for Christmas was in the north and eastern parts of his sprawling riding, visiting with mayors and councils in Lytton, Lillooet, Ashcroft, and Cache Creek, as well as with other area stakeholders.

“It’s such a big riding, with diverse needs,” says Vis. “I’ve learned mechanisms for organizing information, and am putting systems in place to address the key priorities of rural communities in the Fraser Canyon.”

He notes that as a rural MP in a large riding, he gets a bigger allowance than urban MPs, and he plans to use the additional funding to address the size and needs of the riding. One of his key campaign pledges was more representation in the northern reaches of the riding, and to that end Alison Rachel, his Community Outreach Liaison, will be making trips up the Canyon every three weeks, alternating between Lytton/Lillooet and Ashcroft/Cache Creek. He has arranged to lease space from MLA Jackie Tegart at her office on Railway Avenue in Ashcroft, and when she is in town Rachel will be there to help constituents with a variety of items, such as CPP and EI, immigration questions, and more.

“We’ll be establishing a schedule,” says Vis, “so people know beforehand when we’ll be here and what services we can help with.”

He notes that the first issue he raised in the House of Commons was the Big Bar Slide on the Fraser River. “I’ve made a direct intervention with the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans about it. I think it’s the biggest environmental concern facing Canada.

“The call for proposals [for contractors qualified to work to clear the site] recently closed, and we need to choose a contractor immediately and get boots on the ground. Three species [of salmon] are at risk of extinction. There was great work there this summer, and then we had a gap. It needs and requires extra action immediately.”

He says he will also be lobbying for help for the struggling Steelhead fishery, which has declined dramatically over the last three decades, and that he has already spoken with Tegart about the issue.

“I’m still learning about it,” he notes. “I want to know why the Steelhead wasn’t classified as a Species at Risk. There are a lot of cultural associations with that fishery, which is on the verge of annihilation.”

READ MORE: Federal government will not list Steelhead under Species at Risk Act

Discussing the differences between this part of the riding and the Mission-Abbotsford portion, Vis says that he hears a lot about affordability down there.

“I hear less about that here. People are more concerned about the viability of living here, and about sustainable communities. I also hear about health care, and services for seniors.”

Vis—who was the Conservative candidate in the riding in the 2015 federal election, but lost to Liberal Jati Sidhu—says that his wife has made a lot of sacrifices in the past, and his children will make sacrifices, now that he has been elected. He also admits that it took a lot tenacity and self-motivation to run again.

“I believe I’m the right person to serve these communities, and I’m honoured to have this role.”

He adds that now that the election is over, the importance of the job has sunk in.

“People rely on me. When speaking in the House of Commons I’ll be focusing on the important issues we’re facing, and calls to action on the concerns of all the riding’s residents. It’s very humbling.”

Vis says that over the last few years he has had several opportunities to “take a seat” in the House of Commons during various events, but always resisted, preferring to stay standing. As a result, he says, “When I first sat down in my chair it was great, and I felt so honoured.”

His many visits to the area in the run-up to the election allowed him to meet a lot of people in Ashcroft and Cache Creek. “It means so much to have that personal connection with people in the community.”

Asked about the resignation of Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer, Vis says that he was honoured to serve under Scheer, but that the decision about a new leader is up to the party.

“I will be setting criteria for [leadership candidates] seeking my endorsement and support based on what’s best for the riding and for Canada in the 21st century,” he says. “The new leader needs to articulate a vision for both social and progressive conservatives.

“We’re a big tent party, and we need to balance the needs of all party members. Social and progressive conservatives need to come together, and we need to articulate a vision for Canada that everyone can get behind.”



editorial@accjournal.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Quick work prevents potential wildfire disaster near Lytton

Blaze sparked by a suspected impaired driver who collided with a hydro pole

UPDATE: Wildfire northeast of Clinton put out by BC Wildfire Service

Fire at 51 Mile Creek suspected to be lightning-caused

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

No new COVID-19 cases for the first time in weeks: Interior Health

Hospitalization also down to zero across the region

Fire chief disturbed by behaviour of drivers following fatality

Collision on Highway 1 south of Ashcroft left two people dead

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Travel restrictions inspiring co-operation in border communities

Small border towns are asking for exemption to travel ban

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

Leave your deets when dining: Restaurants taking personal info to trace COVID-19

Health officials say indoor dining presents a higher risk

Raptors kneel for both American and Canadian anthems ahead of tipoff

Majority of players have substituted their names on the backs of their jerseys with racial and social justice messages

Wild’s Mathew Dumba makes anti-racism speech, kneels ahead of Blackhawks vs. Oilers

Matt Dumba, 26, took to center ice to speak on behalf of fellow members of the Hockey Diversity Alliance

Programs at 3 of 17 medical schools in Canada aim for equity for Black students

She applied to the medical school anyway through the Black Student Application Program

Most Read