New MP says focus is on infrastructure & new baby, as former boss weighs in on Conservative leadership

New MP Brad Vis was a longtime staffer for Ed Fast, who declined shadow cabinet role last week

New Conservative MP Brad Vis is lacking sleep these days, but it’s not his mentor’s dissatisfaction with his party leader that is keeping him up at night.

On Friday, Vis’s former boss, Abbotsford MP Ed Fast, made news when he declared that he had declined to serve in the Conservative shadow cabinet, saying Andrew Scheer deserved a team that fully supported his leadership.

A number of Conservative bigwigs have suggested the party needs a new leader, but Fast – a longtime cabinet minister under Stephen Harper – was among the first sitting MPs to openly suggest that Scheer’s days should be numbered.

After Fast spoke briefly to the CBC on Friday, his staff told The News that he would not be available to speak on the issue. The News requested another interview on Monday.

Vis, who served for years as a staffer for Fast in Abbotsford and Ottawa and was elected in October as the member of Parliament for Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon, has been pre-occupied with other matters. Last Wednesday, he and his wife celebrated the birth of their second son, Nicholas, at Abbotsford Regional Hospital.

RELATED: Abbotsford Conservative MP Ed Fast declines critic role, cites Scheer’s leadership

RELATED: How two Abbotsford political staffers ended up running against each other’s bosses

Vis said he learned of Fast’s statement on Friday through the media.

He said his party had successfully elected more MPs, but was disappointed at not being able to form government.

“I’m incredibly honoured to be part of the caucus under the leadership of Andrew Scheer and, as a new MP, I’m just looking forward to getting to work on all the issues I talked about during the campaign and that’s my key priority right now,” he told The News Monday.

“Mr. Fast is obviously in a different position than I am … but I’m just going to stick my head down and get to work right now, and it’s up to the membership of our party to decide the future of our leader in April at our convention.”

Asked his thoughts, as one of those Conservative Party members, on the leadership of the party, Vis said:

“Right now Andrew is the leader. I’m proud to serve under Andrew Scheer and my job right now is to fight for my constituents. There are a lot of big infrastructure issues that need to be addressed in my riding, and that’s where I’m going to be focusing my attention.”

Parliament returns Thursday with the Liberal throne speech, but Vis will remain in Abbotsford with his family for a few more days.

On Monday, he will sit as in the House of Commons for the first time, representing the Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon riding, which includes a northern chunk of Abbotsford, along with a huge swath of territory ranging from Mission to Lillooet and Cache Creek.

It will be a big moment for a longtime politico who once participated in a Parliamentary internship program that connected young professionals with MPs, and was narrowly defeated in his first campaign for office in 2015.

“It will be a little emotional for me,” he said. “It’s my first time. I ran in 2015 and I’ve been working at this a long time and I’m just super-pumped and chomping at the bit to get to work right now.”

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
tolsen@abbynews.com


@ty_olsen
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

$10,000 for Gold Rush Trails marketing video and Billie Bouchie Day celebrations

‘We were very impressed by the calibre of both projects’

First Responders hockey match a great night on and off the ice

‘My face was still hurting from smiling and laughing so much’

Ashcroft closer to getting two Level 2 EV charging stations

Town will be part of a network of charging stations in central and northern B.C.

Campaign aims to end the stigma that still surrounds dementia

Ashcroft resident speaks out about taking care of someone with dementia

One man dead after police-involved shooting near Lytton

Two other people in the residence were evacuated safely

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

B.C. pair ordered to pay $55,000 for oil tank discovered four years after selling home

Judge says defendants breached contract, despite being unaware of tank until basement flooded

Canada to give $25,000 to families of each Canadian who died in Iran plane crash

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made it clear that Canada still expects Iran to compensate victims

Oil and gas industry applauds top court’s dismissal of B.C.’s Trans Mountain case

The high court’s ruling Thursday removes one of the remaining obstacles for the project

Most Read