Brad Vis is the new Member of Parliament for Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon.
In one of the region’s most-watched races, the longtime political staffer to local Conservative Ed Fast downed Liberal incumbent Jati Sidhu in the contest to represent the sprawling riding, which stretches from subdivisions in the north of Abbotsford across the Fraser River to Mission and up to Lillooet and Cache Creek.
Four years ago, Sidhu beat Vis in a tight race that was the last to be called in the entire country. Sidhu, with 37 per cent of the ballots, finished that race 1,000 votes and two percentage points ahead of Vis. Monday’s results weren’t so close.
With the Liberal vote sinking across the country, Sidhu was able to collect only 26 per cent of the vote. Vis increased his vote share to 42 per cent, easily outpacing his rival.
Vis said on Monday night that his victory was the result of door-knocking and speaking to voters.
“I credit that to the door-to-door campaign I ran … This election tonight, this victory – I credit it to all the work done behind the scenes.”
The election also saw the NDP’s share of the vote in the riding slip, while the Green tally more than doubled.
The NDP’s Michael Nenn brought in 17.5 per cent of the vote, while Green Party candidate John Kidder was on 11 per cent of all ballots.
On the right side of the political spectrum, Julius (Nick) Csaszar claimed three per cent of the vote for the People’s Party. Marxist-Leninist candidate Elaine Wismer was chosen by 0.2 per cent of voters.
“Obviously I’m disappointed that the Conservatives didn’t form government, so we have a lot more work to do,” Vis said.
“But in terms of the things I need to focus on, that doesn’t change. I need to be in the seat for Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon and bringing their concerns to Ottawa.”
In his speech to supporters, he said that when the next election comes, he should be judged on whether he stood up for people in his riding and addressed their issues.
Across town at an event alongside Abbotsford Liberal candidate Seamus Heffernan, Sidhu remained optimistic until just minutes before the election was called.
Surrounded by more than 100 supporters, he expressed hopefulness that he could snatch a late victory.
It was not to be.
Turnout was 66 per cent, down from 71 per cent in 2015.