Candidate for federal Conservative nomination visits Lillooet

With a federal election coming next year, Conservative Party member Brad Vis is seeking his party’s nomination in the new Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon riding, which includes the Lillooet, Lytton and Bridge River Valley areas.

Current Conservative MP Mark Strahl will be running in a Chilliwack riding in next year’s election.

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Vis was in Lillooet recently to meet with party members, and visit Fort Berens Estate Winery and the Harvesters of Organic Hops to talk about economic development. He had lunch at the Totem Restaurant (really liked the smorg!) and also dropped into the Lillooet News office while he was in town.

Vis, 30, completed a Master’s Degree in Political Science at Ottawa’s Carleton University. He specialized in parliamentary decision-making and public policy.

He says he is different from the other candidates who are seeking the nomination because  he has direct experience on Parliament Hill and says he knows how to get things done in Ottawa.

Employed in agri-business in the Fraser Valley by Corpus Management Group, Vis is working on developing a new agri-centre in the riding.

According to his campaign brochure, he’s running for MP “to ensure our government is transparent, accountable and focused on the issues that matter most – safe streets, a strong economy and opportunities for our youth.”

In the Lillooet area, he says the lack of public transportation is an important issue.

“If I am elected, I will advocate at the federal level as much as I can for some form of public transportation for Lillooet,” he said. Vis told the News he’s also heard that Lillooet did not receive the number of student summer jobs promised under the Summer Works Plan so that’s another issue he would work on if elected.

Other concerns he’s heard about throughout the riding include pensions, passports and immigration.

There are two other declared candidates in the race for the nomination -  Korky Neufeld and Doris Woodman-McMillan. They have not visited this area.

A date for the nomination meeting has not been officially announced.

Vis said the new riding, with a size of 30,000 square kilometres, is about the size of Belgium.

“There are a lot of people down in Abbotsford and Mission I could talk to, but I didn’t want to ignore anyone in the canyon, either, so I took a day off work to come up and visit people here.”

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