Some Richmond residents have been having trouble getting a hold of their new MP, so the Richmond News reached out to rookie politician Wilson Miao to find out what’s going on.
A number of people, including readers and high school students, contacted the News in recent weeks and months, questioning why they couldn’t contact or get an email reply from the Liberal MP for Richmond Centre and wondering why Miao doesn’t have a constituency office, despite being elected nine months ago.
In a virtual in-person interview on Thursday, Miao told the News that he has been having difficulty finding the right premises for his local office.
However, he said he hopes to open his new constituency office very soon, close to Richmond Hospital.
And he added that the phone number for the office – which is active – has been update on the parliamentary website.
“Looking for an office (in my constituency) has been one of the biggest challenges,” said Miao, adding that he wasn’t able to take over Tory veteran MP Alice Wong’s office, as the lease had expired there.
“(I had) hoped to have a temporary office in January, but wasn’t able to. I do now have an office confirmed.”
Miao awaiting permit approval for new office
Miao said he hasn’t put the address out there just yet as he is waiting for the permit application to be approved following renovations.
“The negotiation with the landlord took some time,” said Miao.
As for his first foray into politics, Miao said he remembers “very clearly” his first few days in Ottawa last fall.
“The second day I was on the hill; I was assigned house duty and a colleague said he was occupied that evening and asked if I could also take his house duty. I said, ‘sure, why not,’” recalled Miao.
“So, it was supposed to end at 6:30 p.m., but there was a B.C. flood debate (and) we had to extend the sitting until midnight.
“I was like, ‘wow, is this the way it’s going to happen?’ This was only my second day.”
Long nights in Ottawa
Miao said one-hour discussions in Ottawa quickly become three hours and more, resulting in many very late nights.
He said he has managed to get onto two committees which are close to his heart - veteran affairs and international trade.
“I have a deep connection with seniors and feel they are being neglected,” he added, noting that the current anti-Asian racism – and any racism for that matter – is also something at the top of his list.
Anyone wanting to contact Miao should email him at Wilson.Miao@parl.gc.ca or call 604-775-5790.
They can also follow him on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter @WilsonMiaoRC