Conservative candidate Brad Vis speaking at his townhall in Agassiz Thursday, April 4. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

Federal Conservative candidate talks budget, riding issues in Agassiz

Brad Vis held his second town hall this spring in the Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon riding

It may be just over six months until the federal election, but Conservative candidate Brad Vis is already making the rounds through the Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon riding.

On Thursday, April 4, Vis held a town hall at Agassiz’s Agricultural Hall to hear concerns from residents and share some of his views on things like the federal budget and the proposed riding name change.

“We’re really trying to win this race door-to-door, person-to-person,” Vis said to the eight people at the event, significantly smaller than the 50-plus people who came to his Mission town hall the week before. “I want to be someone that you feel is accessible … I want to be someone you can reach and you can share your concerns with.”

Although Vis said the new Conservative vision was to be more positive, the start of his presentation was decidedly critical as he shared his thoughts on the federal budget, released in March of this year.

RELATED: Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Vis was in favour of some line items — RRSP Home Buyers’ Plan and the Rental Construction Finance Initiative, for example — but he was against things like the electric car credit, training benefit and the home buyers’ incentive, saying they wouldn’t impact residents in B.C. or it wasn’t the government’s place to subsidize people who could afford electric cars.

“We’re getting dinged” was his most prevalent statement during discussions on the budget, whether it was in regards to carbon tax, steel tariffs or the unbuilt Transmountain pipeline.

“My general concern as young father and just as a Canadian is that there is a lot of new spending in this budget,” Vis said. “To what end, and to what purpose?”

Although most of the town hall was spent discussing taxes and the federal budget, the proposed riding name change was also a significant talking point.

The change, which would see Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon become Abbotsford-Mission-Fraser Canyon, was requested by current Liberal MP Jati Sidhu as part of a private member’s bill to better represent the riding, he said.

RELATED: LETTER: Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon name change not because of shame

Vis, although not strictly opposed to a new name for the riding, said he felt the change was a vanity project for Sidhu.

“It’s part of the history of the area, and it’s a nice history. It’s a rich history,” he said, adding that he will be sending a letter to the Senate “asking them to refrain from changing the name, so if we do it, it’s done properly with public input.”

During the town hall, Vis also spoke about the challenges of representing the nearly 22,000-kilometre riding, which stretches from Mission to Agassiz to Lillooet to Cache Creek and Gold Bridge.

“The member of parliament for this riding needs to have effective systems in place and needs to have a staff team that’s able to address all of the concerns of each community,” he said. “I want to … help the communities get some of those (federal) funds out the door and back to taxpayers where it’s needed.”

Although the group at Agassiz’s town hall was small, the discussion after Vis’ presentation lasted nearly an hour.

Some questions were pointed at what Vis would do if he was elected, such as the first policies he would want to repeal (Bill C69, because it gives the environment minister a veto on resource projects; revising, not repealing, the Income Tax Act to make it responsive to small business; and revising the defence procurement process).

Other questions prompted discussion, largely on past Conservative policies, the SNC-Lavalin affair and the future Conservative party platform.



grace.kennedy@ahobserver.com

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

Sunset Manor, an assisted living facility in Chilliwack, is among five such facilities in the Fraser Health region to have confirmed cases of COVID-19 among staff members, on Oct. 21, 2020. (Paul Henderson/ Progress)
Confirmed case of COVID-19 at Chilliwack assisted living facility

Staff members at five Fraser Health care homes have tested positively for coronavirus

Local photographer Wolf Drescher spotted film crews set up along Esplanade Avenue in front of Canwest Art Gallery on the Lake on Thursday, October 1. Film production crews working on ‘Solitary’ will be around the area until close to the end of the month. (Contributed Photo/Wolf Drescher)
“Solitary” Update: Dramatic action scene to be filmed in Agassiz

‘Solitary’ will film a break-in, getaway at Kent Outdoors

About 2,000 people were without power in the Agassiz-Harrison area after a wire dropped on Morrow Road in Agassiz. (Contributed graphic/BC Hydro)
Power restored after downed line near Agassiz Christian School

Crews restored power after about four hours

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Oct. 18

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

More and more electric cars are on the road, but one Chevy Bolt owner was shocked to see how much his BC Hydro bill skyrocketed once he started charging the vehicle. (Black Press file photo)
Rosedale man sees significant spike in BC Hydro bill after purchasing electrical vehicle

An increase should be expected, but Brian Chwiendacz experienced a 200-plus per cent hike

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Rio Tinto Alcan’s aluminum smelter at Kitimat competes against producers in the Middle East and Russia that have no carbon tax. (Rio Tinto)
B.C. carbon tax highest in Canada, export industries unprotected

B.C. NDP, B.C. Liberals say they’re looking at exemptions

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

In this file photo, snow is seen falling along the Coquihalla Highway. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Weather statement issued for Coquihalla, Hwy 3, as arctic front approaches

The early season snowfall expected to hit Fraser Valley, Friday, Oct. 23

(Pixabay)
Vancouver teacher suspended after swearing, touching students and complimenting underwear

McCabe touched students, including rubbing their backs and necks, touching their hair and hugging them

Most Read