LETHBRIDGE: It's official.
Newly-minted Conservative MP Jim Hillyer signed the lease Wednesday on outgoing member Rick Casson's old office.
He told Country 95 News he's glad to have the chance to maintain Casson's location and phone number, which should make him easier to find when parliament wraps up this summer.
"I was out meeting with people last summer as the candidate, but now that I'm the MP, it's a slightly different relationship," Hillyer told C95 news on one of the stops during a whirlwind media and business tour in the riding Tuesday and Wednesday. "I want to be reaching out to all the communities across the riding and all people across the riding, whether they supported the Conservatives in the previous election or not."
Hillyer takes possession of the office June 1, but his team will make some renovations on the property before its official reopening - expected June 15.
He also used the opportunity to address concerns that he may have been avoiding voters after the election.
"Sometimes people think the absence of evidence is evidence of absence," he said. "We've been answering emails and phone calls. Even though we don't have a physical office for people to go to, my staff and I have been working hard and in communication with people all along."
Keeping pace with the flood of communication has been a challenge, he admits, with rounds of new MP orientation and Conservative MP introduction sessions in Ottawa. After his brief visit in Lethbridge this week, which he used to meet with local organizations like the City, the university and Economic Development Lethbridge, Hillyer is already back in Ottawa for his third visit in as many weeks.
Constituents can reach Hillyer through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone through Casson's old number: 403-320-0070. The line is being monitored on a daily basis.
To hear more about his plans for the upcoming session, click the "play" button.
Photo Country 95 News: Jim Hillyer met with the Country 95 News team at Economic Development Lethbridge's downtown office, during a whirlwind tour of the riding.