Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon MP Mark Strahl was appointed parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development by the Prime Minister this week.

MP Mark Strahl named parliamentary secretary by PM

Parliamentary secretaries act as a link between ministers and MPs in Ottawa and can be a source of future cabinet ministers.

Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon MP Mark Strahl was named Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development this week by Prime Minster Stephen Harper.

One source close to home sees it as a positive move for the local MP who was elected to the House of Commons in 2011.

“My initial reaction is that it’s always good to have someone from the area to connect with to talk about key issues,” said Joe Hall, president of Sto:lo Nation Society.

“I would hope Mark Strahl will make the effort to meet with Sto:lo and talk with us, knowing of course the Parliamentary Secretary position represents the whole country.”

The role of the parliamentary secretary on Parliament Hill is to assist cabinet ministers with parliamentary duties.

“Under the direction of their ministers, parliamentary secretaries handle routine matters in the House of Commons, engage in committee work, and assume some extra-parliamentary responsibilities,” according to the Parliament of Canada website. “Parliamentary secretaries act as a link between ministers and parliamentarians.

“Some may be given special assignments as well. Moreover, the office can serve as a training ground for future cabinet ministers or as a way of rewarding members of the government caucus.

The PM released the news about Strahl on Wednesday.

“I look forward to working with Mr. Strahl as our Government continues to focus on the economy, keeping our streets and communities safe, celebrating our history, and promoting Canada’s interests on the world stage,” said Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the release.

“Mr. Strahl will play an important role in helping our government deliver on its commitments to Canadian taxpayers, including keeping taxes low, protecting Canadian families, and putting our finances on a sustainable path.”

The Chilliwack-born MP has been a member of the Standing Committee on National Defence, of the Standing Committee on Health and of the Standing Joint Committee on Scrutiny of Regulations.

The Sto:lo rep is optimistic about the appointment.

“We’re hoping this will improve communication with First Nations, not only nationally but just as importantly, on the local level,” Hall said.

One of the sore spots for some Sto:lo leaders is still the Yale First Nation treaty, which did not officially entrench Sto:lo rights to their historic family fishing grounds in the Fraser Canyon, and other cultural heritage sites.

“I can’t say we’ve enjoyed a lot of success in our discussions, particularly on the Yale question, and a number of initiatives by the Conservative have been undertaken with virtually no communications with Sto:lo.

“So, yes, I think there’s room for improvement.”

Nonetheless, Hall said he always enjoyed a good working relationship with the MP’s father, Chuck Strahl, who was Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development from 2007 to 2010.

“The lines of communication then, I have to say, were really good.”

A complete list of parliamentary secretaries can be found at

Just Posted

UPDATE: One man airlifted to hospital following incident on Chilliwack River Road

Chilliwack River Road closed off as police investigate; RCMP will not confirm reports of a shooting

Garrison store going to new heights for children’s charity

Save-On Foods employees raising cash for BC Children’s Hospital, by throwing managers from airplane

Tourism Chilliwack brings home industry award of excellence

Sto:lo Welcome Figures carving project outside the Visitor Centre loomed large in the win

UPDATE: Dying days for 25-bed mental health facility on Chilliwack/Abbotsford border

Closure of Mountain View criticized by NDP in opposition but hasn’t reversed Fraser Health decision

B.C’s Indigenous tourism sector takes centre stage in Chilliwack

One-day workshop will look at ways to embue the industry with authenticity

Vancouver Aquarium’s resident octopus released into ocean

Staff let the Giant Pacific octopus go into the waters near Bowen Island so she can reproduce

BREAKING: Mother hit in Maple Ridge truck rampage dies

Family confirms mother of four Kelly Sandoval dies almost two months after being hit.

B.C. officials failed to tell Kiwis Fraser Health CEO had been fired in 2014

New Zealand spending scandal exposes Dr. Nigel Murray 2014 exit from B.C. job

PHOTOS: Students exhibit stunning paper couture dresses

22 paper made gowns will be on display at Vancouver’s Oakridge Centre until March 27

BCHL Today: Prince George avoids elimination with game five win

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Suspect arrested and charged for assault on autistic man

Parmvir Chahil has strong B.C. ties; two others charged with accessory after the fact

Uber self-driving crash video calls safety, rules into question

Experts say footage shows that vehicle’s sensors should have spotted pedestrian, initiated braking

Installation complete for Alex Fraser Bridge cable collars

The collars will continue to be operated manually

UPDATED: MPs Elizabeth May, Kennedy Stewart arrested at B.C. anti-pipeline protest

The demonstration is part of a day of action against the Trans Mountain expansion

Most Read