Conservative MPs Ed Fast (left) and Brad Vis issued statements Wednesday (Feb. 2) about Erin O’Toole being voted out as party leader. (Kevin Mills/Mission City Record file photo)

Conservative MPs Ed Fast (left) and Brad Vis issued statements Wednesday (Feb. 2) about Erin O’Toole being voted out as party leader. (Kevin Mills/Mission City Record file photo)

Abbotsford’s 3 Conservative MPs speak out about Erin O’Toole’s ousting as party leader

Ed Fast, Brad Vis and Tako van Popta say new permanent leader should have ‘unifying vision’

Abbotsford’s three members of Parliament, who all belong to the Conservative Party, have issued statements about Erin O’Toole being voted out Wednesday (Feb. 2) as party leader.

Long-standing Abbotsford MP Ed Fast thanked O’Toole for his leadership over the last 18 months.

Fast said O’Toole “ably assisted” him as parliamentary secretary when Fast served as Minister of International Trade under Stephen Harper.

“That constructive working relationship continued when Erin, as Conservative leader, invited me to join his shadow cabinet as finance critic and industry critic,” Fast said.

“This is a difficult time for Erin, his wife Rebecca and their family, and my thoughts and best wishes are with them as they seek out new opportunities to lead.”

The Conservative caucus meets at 4 p.m. (PST) Wednesday to elect an interim leader, and Fast said he will not be putting his name forward.

He said he is looking forward to selecting a new leader “with a new unifying vision for our country.”

RELATED: Erin O’Toole voted out as Conservative leader by MPs

“During this transitionary period and until a new permanent leader is chosen, I will continue to do what my constituents expect of me – namely to represent their interests and hold the Trudeau government to account for its incompetent, unethical and divisive behaviour over these past six years,” Fast said.

Brad Vis, MP for Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon, also thanked O’Toole and said he has enjoyed serving in his shadow cabinet.

“Working with Erin, we positively raised the housing affordability crisis facing so many Canadians,” Vis said.

He said he will continue to “serve and elevate the number-one riding in Canada.”

Tako van Popta, MP for Langley-Aldergrove (which also covers a portion of west Abbotsford), said he is looking for a new unifying leader.

RELATED: New unifying leader needed for Conservatives, says Langley-Aldergrove MP

He said he was not part of the original group of MPs who signed the petition that triggered the leadership vote.

As for a permanent leader, he said he wants clear, decisive leadership.

Van Popta noted that the Conservative party is a “big tent” and contains multiple different political viewpoints.

“Whoever is the leader needs to respect that,” van Popta said.

Earlier this week, a third of Conservative MPs signed a document calling for the removal of O’Toole, who was party leader during last October’s federal election, which left the party in the same position in Official Opposition as they had been before.

On Wednesday, a secret ballot resulted in 73 MPs voting to remove O’Toole as MP, while 45 endorsed him.

– with files from Matthew Claxton



vhopes@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Conservative Party of Canadafederal government

 

Tako van Popta is the Conservative MP for Langley-Aldergrove, which includes a portion of Abbotsford. (Dan Ferguson/Black Press Media file photo)

Tako van Popta is the Conservative MP for Langley-Aldergrove, which includes a portion of Abbotsford. (Dan Ferguson/Black Press Media file photo)