The second time was the charm Monday night for Conservative Brad Vis, who will sit in the House of Commons after claiming victory in the Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon riding.
Vis, who lost in the riding four years ago to Liberal Jati Sidhu, turned the tables and was declared the winner by most broadcasters around 8:40 p.m.
Although all votes had yet to be counted in the sprawling riding, which stretches from Lillooet to north Abbotsford, Vis had claimed around 41 per cent of ballots as of 8:50 p.m.
Sidhu trailed, with about 24 per cent of the vote, followed by the NDP’s Michael Nenn, who was selected by about 19 per cent of voters.
Vis watched the results come in privately and gave a speech to his supporters at a reception at Matsqui Community Hall just after 10 p.m.
After thanking his family, supporters, volunteers and members of his campaign, Vis turned his attention to the future. He said while Monday night was a time to celebrate, there is still a lot of work ahead.
“In four years time, or less – it might be less – we’re probably going to be having another election,” he told the crowd.
When that time comes, he wants people to look back at what he did and ask if he upheld certain standards: Was he accountable for his time? Did he do his best to stand for the people of this riding when they really needed his help? Did he address the big issues?
“When the next election is called, hold me to those standards.”
After his speech, Vis said he was honoured by the overwhelming support that he has received.
“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.”
As for the other candidates in the riding, Vis had nothing but praise for their efforts.
“Our local campaign was super friendly. I have all the respect for the other candidates. We did a lot of debates together and got to know each other,” he said.
As for the Liberals forming a minority government, Vis said it didn’t ruin his victory celebration.
“Obviously I’m disappointed that the Conservatives didn’t form government, so we have a lot more work to do. 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.”
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