I want to thank Christopher di Armani for his letter (see left), which appeared in several Black Press papers last week.
I do, however, take exception to his claim that I am “ashamed” to be the Member of Parliament for Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon. Quite the contrary: Representing this riding has been one of my life’s great privileges, and its proposed name change is a reflection of the people my staff and I serve.
I can assure my constituents I do not take this proposal lightly. Riding name changes are not easily undertaken, and between elections the only circumstance in which this could happen is when it is determined the current name does not sufficiently represent the district’s geographic boundaries.
The former municipality of Matsqui merged with Abbotsford in 1995, and presently, my office represents about one third of Abbotsford’s residents—a fact that many people are unaware of. In no way is this an attempt to disrespect the history of Matsqui or the Matsqui First Nation. The proposed name change is meant to better reflect the demographics of the constituency, and nothing more.
Regardless of the outcome of the Senate’s third reading of this bill, I look forward in continuing to serve the people of this riding, no matter what its name. Please do not hesitate to contact my office with questions or concerns regarding this or any other federal matter.
Member of Parliament