‘It shouldn't impact my work in the riding'
TRURO - Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley Conservative MP Scott Armstrong has been given a promotion.
Armstrong is the new chairman of the Atlantic caucus of 14 MPs.
He takes over from New Brunswick MP Mike Allen.
"I am very pleased with the confidence the prime minister has placed in me by appointing me to carry out this important role in our government," Armstrong said on Tuesday. "I look forward to working with my colleagues from our region, to determine the best approach to advance Atlantic Canadian issues for a brighter future."
Armstrong, 46, said Allen had served for four years and decided it was time to move on. When Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in the riding last week he offered the position to him.
His duties include advancing issues of concern to the region, chairing weekly caucus meetings, assisting in setting the agenda for weekly meetings, working with the minister on Atlantic issues and strengthening the voice of Atlantic MPs to national caucus and the House of Commons.
"It shouldn't impact my work in the riding. It does mean a little more travel within Atlantic Canada," Armstrong said. "I'm hoping it's a focus I do more from Ottawa than taking time away from the riding."
He said he will chair the weekly caucus meeting in Ottawa and he will represent the area at the national caucus.
"It's a way for Atlantic Canada to be heard at the caucus. I will be representing four provinces at the national caucus, so it will be a big job," he said.
Armstrong said he would like to use the appointment as a stepping stone.
"You always want to do better. If you're not ambitious or striving for improvement, you shouldn't be in whatever business you're in. Any position you can get in government as an elected person gives you a stronger voice. I plan to use the role to speak loudly for Atlantic Canada and (it) gives me more of a profile to do this as opposed to being a back bench member.
"For someone who has been there for only three years it's a great opportunity to do something I can use to promote the views and wishes of people in this riding and Atlantic Canada."
He said his appointment also gives the region an additional voice to the party leadership.
The former educator and administrator was first elected in a 2009 byelection. He was re-elected in May 2011.