Mr. Speaker, I was deeply saddened to learn this morning of the passing of our colleague in this House, Mark Warawa, a man who proudly represented his constituency of Langley—Aldergrove this term and the communities of the Township of Langley and Langley City, or “the Langleys” as we call them locally, since 2004.
I met Mark and his wife Diane shortly after my wife and I moved with our family to the Township of Langley in 2005. I was a manager with Parks Canada based at Fort Langley National Historic Site. Mark loved participating in special events at the fort, fondly known as the birthplace of B.C.
Mark embraced the roots of our community and commissioned a period gentleman's outfit to wear at special events, including the community's May Day celebrations, Canada Day, Douglas Day and other events. The community always looked forward to Mark's Canada Day cupcakes, which he proudly served each and every Canada Day.
Mark loved participating in citizenship ceremonies at the fort, sharing the story of his family's journey to Canada and the opportunities that our rich land gave them, including to Mark personally, and his ability to serve in office on behalf of his constituents.
Mark was a huge supporter of the fort and attended every event possible. I got to know him and his love for our community through almost a decade of working together in a non-partisan fashion. I respected Mark deeply for his caring manner. Mark and his wife Diane were at as many community events as possible, and I always enjoyed encountering both of them around the Langleys.
On a family trip to Ottawa several years back, Mark insisted on touring my family around Parliament Hill. He staged mock media interviews with my three children. He introduced us to the excellent staff in the dining room. He proudly shared this place, and the honour it is to serve, with my family. The look in his eyes, of excitement, honour and humility, is a look I will always remember, and one that I have tried to emulate during my time in this chamber.
For the 2015 election, the Langleys were divided into two new ridings. I was elected to represent Cloverdale—Langley City. Upon my taking office, Mark reached out and helped my team get up and running. There were cases from before the election that Mark knew, and he helped my team resolve these files. He provided valuable advice to me on setting up offices in Ottawa and at home. He was a huge mentor in those early days.
We were able to serve together on the Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Dying as well as the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.
I admired Mark's deep commitment to his personal beliefs and his faith. His trust in his Lord and God provided him much strength during his brief but valiant fight with cancer.
On behalf of the Prime Minister, the government and all my Liberal colleagues, I offer our deepest condolences to Mark's family, to his wife Diane and his five children, Jonathan, Ryan, Nathan, Eric and Kristen, to their spouses and Mark's 10 grandchildren, of whom he was so fiercely proud, as well as to Mark's entire Conservative family.
Thank you to Mark's family and to the residents of the Langleys for having shared Mark with Canada over these past 15 years. Mark will be missed.