Blair Wilson, Member of Parliament for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, is taking a working summer holiday this year.
As well as making appearances at events throughout his constituency, Wilson is hosting a town hall series during the summer recess from the House of Commons. From July 19 to Sept. 7, Wilson is making stops in Squamish, West Vancouver, Whistler, Sechelt, Bowen Island, Gibsons and Powell River, inviting the public to come out, ask questions and discuss the topics most important to them. The Whistler meeting is on Tuesday, Aug. 8 at 7 p.m., at MY Millennium Place.
Wilson, a Liberal, was elected in the January federal election after the minority Liberal Party was toppled by a vote of non-confidence. The Conservative Party, under Stephen Harper, won more seats than any other party but were short of a majority, thus ushering in Canadas second minority government in two years.
But while the country moved to the right politically partly to punish the Liberal Party for the sponsorship scandal, gun registry debacle, and other high profile transgressions Whistlers riding moved to the left for the first time in over a decade. Still it was a close one, as Wilson edged Conservative candidate John Weston by fewer than 1,000 votes.
The credit for the turnaround in the riding has to go to Wilson himself. As a rookie MP he could not be implicated in any of the Liberal Partys troubles. He also ran a strong campaign, engaging the public at every opportunity with a positive message.
Although hes been in Parliament for less than a year, Wilson has also been popular within the Liberal Party. He has already been appointed the Associate Finance Critic and the Critic for Sport and Vancouver Olympics. As well, hes the Chair of the B.C. Caucus of the Liberal Party, and will be active in the partys current leadership race.
The town hall meetings are keeping with his approach to campaigning, says Wilson.
And if rumours are true he could be campaigning again a lot sooner than he thought.
Pique Newsmagazine spoke with Wilson last week about the summer town hall meetings, and what is on the minds of his constituents.
Pique: What do you hope to accomplish with the town hall meetings?
Blair Wilson: Well part of it is that theyre scheduled all across the riding West Vancouver, Squamish, Whistler, Sechelt, Powell River, Bowen Island which will allow constituents in the riding to access me on a one to one basis, and in a public sense to discuss any issues they feel are important to them. They get to voice their opinions directly to their Member of Parliament, and to raise issues of concern.