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

Abbotsford-specific pandemic plan was suggested in 2016, but never created

Community risk assessment listed a city pandemic plan as a potential action to reduce risk

UFV Music Festival features classical and jazz groups

Event takes place Saturday, Jan. 25 at Abbotsford campus

Rude awakening: 1.6-magnitude earthquake rouses residents from their sleep

The quake was detected 3 km east-northeast of Agassiz

Returning favourites and new features at Vancouver Motorcycle Show

Event runs at Tradex in Abbotsford from Jan. 24 to 26

Gallery 7 Theatre presents Tempting Providence

Play opening Friday, Jan. 24 based on true story of Myra Bennett

Fashion Fridays: The basics you need for your body type

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Brownie, a St. Bernard mix, found suffering from gunshot wound in B.C. Peace region

The dog was also found to be emaciated and suffering from a flea infestation

B.C. man dies after police called for ‘firearms injury’ in rural Alberta

Victim is 30-year-old Greater Victoria man, say police

VIDEO: Silvertips edge Giants 2-1 Thursday in Langley

Vancouver falls just short, dropping hard-fought, one-goal decision to Everett at home

Was Bigfoot just spotted on a Washington State webcam?

Sherman Pass is rougly 70 kilometres south of Grand Forks, B.C.

B.C. employer health tax wins ‘paperweight award’ for red tape

Businesses forced to estimate payroll, pay new tax quarterly

VIDEO: Dashcam records near-miss by bad driver near Sooke

Driver crossed four lanes of traffic and back over again, barely missing three other vehicles

New U.S. LNG terminal near northwestern B.C. town proposed

AlaskCAN International LNG wants terminal just over Canadian border, but using B.C gas

Most Read