Prince George-Peace River MP Bob Zimmer plans to advocate for resource issues in his new role as B.C. and Yukon Conservative caucus chairman.
Zimmer will lead weekly meetings of the 22 Conservative Members of Parliament from B.C. and the Yukon and then take the views he hears to a meeting of provincial caucus chairmen. The provincial caucus then reports their findings directly to cabinet.
"It's neat to be that voice," Zimmer said in a phone interview from Ottawa on Thursday. "It's just making sure the resource sector is well represented and the issues are well represented."
Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed Zimmer to the new job, which doesn't carry a specific term length. Zimmer expects to stay on as provincial caucus chair until at least the next federal election.
"It gives me the ability to bring those issues to light," he said. "We always could, as regular members at caucus, but there's a bit more of a direct line to the Prime Minister this way."
B.C. has the third most Conservative MPs by province, behind Ontario and Alberta.
Zimmer was on a Canada-European mission when he got the news and he said it was an easy decision to accept the new role.
"I think it's going to be good for our riding," he said. "It's a good position and I'm honoured to be there."