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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was heritage.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Liberal MP for Cloverdale—Langley City (B.C.)

Lost his last election, in 2019, with 35% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Mark Warawa June 20th, 2019

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.

Petitions June 20th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I rise to table a petition concerning the Burns Bog peatland, the largest raised peatland in North America, on the west coast. It is calling on the government to protect the species at risk that are on these lands.

While I am standing, I would like to take this moment to extend my heartfelt condolences to Diane Warawa and her family and to our shared community of Langley.

Mark was a very important person in my life. Prior to my entering politics, he was very supportive of my work and career at Parks Canada.

He did many things for our community. I know our community is going to miss him tremendously this Canada Day and beyond. It is indeed a sad day for this House and for our community.

Committees of the House June 18th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 21st report of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, entitled “ The Last Straw: Turning the Tide on Plastic Pollution in Canada”.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

I would like to thank all of our support staff for the excellent work they did during this term.

Employment June 11th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, our economic plan is working in my riding of Cloverdale—Langley City and across Canada. On Friday, the numbers were released showing that British Columbia has the lowest unemployment rate in Canada and we are a leader in Canada's job growth. I know that employers and businesses in Cloverdale—Langley City are working hard to create jobs and keep our economy going. Could the minister of employment please tell my constituents what we are doing to support B.C.'s growth?

Tourism Industry June 5th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, in my 32-year career with Parks Canada, I dealt with tourism operators and agencies across Canada. As a result, I know how important tourism is to our economy, particularly in B.C. where it represents over 300,000 tourism workers.

Can the Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie please explain how the new tourism strategy works to champion job creation in the tourism industry, especially in B.C.?

Cloverdale—Langley City June 4th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak to the residents of Cloverdale—Langley City. I humbly offer my thanks and gratitude for the honour of serving them in the 42nd Parliament. I have had some great jobs in my life, but this one is by far the best.

I heard their issues on the doorsteps, and that is why I am so proud to be part of this government, which responded.

In our first month in office, we cut taxes for the middle class, saving each person $720 every year. We introduced the Canada child benefit, which brings $84 million tax-free annually to Cloverdale—Langley City.

We invested $1.3 billion in transit south of the Fraser, including $650,000 for the next phase of the SkyTrain expansion down Fraser Highway toward Clayton and Langley City, and expanded bus services throughout our neighbourhoods. We invested more than $10 million in our growing communities in Cloverdale-Langley City. Upgrades happened to the Cloverdale Athletic Park, Penzer Park and the Museum of Surrey.

With their support, I will continue the work I started this term in the 43rd Parliament.

Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1 May 31st, 2019

Mr. Speaker, my colleague is right. There are so many investments our government has made to help grow the economy. We are seeing it right in our home communities in Surrey and Langley, south of the Fraser River.

We recently made an announcement with the Province of B.C. We are investing a significant amount, hundreds of millions of dollars, in the trade corridor. On the Trans Canada Highway, there are many significant pinch points, and it is a main thoroughfare for getting goods to and from the Port of Vancouver. Billions of dollars in goods flow through it.

In working with the province, the federal government announced over $220 million to expand that particular trade corridor. That will help move our citizens as they live their lives, going to and from work and other activities in the Lower Mainland. It will also help move freight, which is an important part of jobs in the Lower Mainland.

We are doing other things as well. We are working on transit investments. Our government has committed over $650 million for the expansion of the SkyTrain service, which will create jobs. The train will go to my colleague's riding and will eventually continue, hopefully sooner rather than later, into my riding of Cloverdale, with the new terminus at Langley City.

Many investments are being made, and they are helping to grow the economy and create the jobs we need in our communities in Surrey and Langley City.

Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1 May 31st, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague for his advocacy on environmental issues in our beautiful province of British Columbia.

Our government has made significant investments in environmental protections. Although we want to see the money rolling out as fast as possible, sometimes new programs need to be designed. Those are being worked on. We will be seeing money to continue to support and restore the fishery on the west coast.

The west coast fishery is an important part of our identity as British Columbians. We need to continue working to make sure that it is there for the long term so that it can be used by indigenous people living in our province, by British Columbians and other Canadians and by those who travel internationally to enjoy our fisheries. We need to make sure that the investments are there to sustain that fishery for the long term.

That is what our government is working on, doing so in ways that previous governments have not.

Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1 May 31st, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak in support of Bill C-97, the budget implementation act, 2019, No. 1.

Canada's economy is one of the fastest growing in the G7. Since 2015, Canadians have created more than one million new jobs, with our lowest unemployment rate in 40 years. Our government is making sure that all Canadians feel the benefits of a growing economy through budget 2019, and it will continue to help middle-class Canadians get ahead.

I would like to highlight what budget 2019 means to my riding of Cloverdale—Langley City. The new Canada training benefit will help constituents in my riding gain the training and skills to be successful in their careers. With this new benefit, working Canadians will get four weeks for training every four years, up to $1,000 to help pay for the training, income support to help with everyday expenses, and the security of knowing that they will have a job to come back to when the training is done. To support this new training benefit, we have relieved small employers with EI premiums by introducing an EI small business premium rebate. The Canada training benefit will help my constituents get the skills they need to find and keep good jobs or to get retraining to help secure work for years to come.

Our government has also made big investments to support students and youth in my riding who attend Kwantlen Polytechnic University or other universities across Canada. We have doubled the number of jobs created through the Canada summer jobs program, increased Canada student grants, launched the Canada Service Corps and made huge investments in the youth employment strategy.

This summer, in Cloverdale—Langley City, the Canada summer jobs program has allocated $616,519 in funding and has approved 154 jobs so that our youth can gain meaningful, paid work experience. Helping more youth get work experience through the Canada summer jobs program is just one way this government is helping to grow and support the middle class and people working hard to join it.

Through budget 2019, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development launched Canada's first-ever national poverty reduction strategy. The strategy sets new poverty reduction targets and establishes the federal government as a full partner in the fight against poverty. Our poverty reduction strategy also builds on the progress we have made together so far.

One of the very first things we did after being elected in 2015 was introduce the Canada child benefit, which has lifted more than half a million Canadians, including more than 300,000 children, out of poverty. The Canada child benefit has allocated nearly $7.4 million per month to 24,440 children living in Cloverdale—Langley City.

We also, as a government, immediately reversed the previous government's disastrous changes to the guaranteed income supplement and old age security. We restored the age of eligibility from 67 to 65 and made benefits for seniors more generous, which is helping lift another 100,000 seniors out of poverty every year, including many in my riding of Cloverdale—Langley City. Further, through new horizons for seniors, five organizations in my riding have received over $80,000 in funding, including, among others, the Lower Fraser Valley Aboriginal Society and the Royal Canadian Legion. This is what real change looks like.

We also know that no Canadian should have to choose between paying for prescriptions and putting food on the table. With budget 2019, our government is taking the next steps toward the implementation of a national pharmacare program by creating a Canadian drug agency to negotiate better drug prices on behalf of all Canadians, putting in place a national strategy for rare disease drugs to help Canadians access the life-saving drugs they need and creating a national formulary to provide consistency across the country. It is critically important that we get this right and do what is best and equitable for employers, employees and all Canadians.

To combat climate change, we are making zero emission vehicles more accessible for Canadians by providing a $5,000 federal incentive. In B.C., this can be combined with the provincial $5,000 credit and the $3,000 or $6,000 Scrap-It program incentive, depending on certain criteria.

We are also building infrastructure support for electric vehicles and zero emission vehicles and are encouraging new investments and innovation in zero emission vehicle manufacturing here in Canada. By investing in the future of transportation now, we are positioning Canada's automotive sector to grow, supporting clean jobs and growth and protecting the future for our children and grandchildren.

Our government knows that if we do not have a plan for the environment, we do not have a plan for the economy or for the future, and that is why we put a price on pollution in jurisdictions without one. We are making zero emission vehicles more affordable and are investing in clean technology and public transportation.

My beautiful province of British Columbia has had a price on pollution for over 10 years. Contrary to the narrative offered by the Conservatives, we have led Canada in economic growth and have reduced our emissions over the last decade.

Our government also knows the importance of investing in infrastructure. It not only creates good middle-class jobs for today but also strong local economies people can rely on for years to come. By helping to reduce traffic, keeping our families safe and addressing the challenges of climate change, our investments in infrastructure are setting our communities up for success.

Budget 2019 gives a one-time transfer of $2.2 billion through the federal gas tax fund to address short-term priorities in municipalities and first nation communities. In my riding of Cloverdale—Langley City, approximately $2 million has been secured for TransLink to cure congestion and improve transit options through the gas tax transfer.

Over the past four years, we have also secured federal funding of $4.46 million for the phase two expansion of the Surrey museum and $1.9 million to upgrade the Cloverdale Athletic Park multi-sport facility and field house. Better infrastructure, with improved public transit, more affordable housing and new community facilities, makes Cloverdale—Langley City a great place to start a business and raise a family.

We believe that every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. Since taking office in 2015, we have made the most investments in housing in Canadian history. Our government launched Canada's first-ever national housing strategy, a once-in-a-generation $40-billion investment to fight homelessness and improve access to affordable housing across the country. By building, renewing and repairing housing in Canada, we are not just investing in our communities but are investing in people. We will keep working hard to make sure that Canadians have safe and affordable housing that meets their needs in communities where their families can thrive.

Budget 2019 also proposes to further increase compliance actions in the real estate sector by providing $50 million over five years and $10 million ongoing to create a real estate task force that would focus initially on the greater Toronto and greater Vancouver areas. This would benefit housing affordability in my area of Cloverdale—Langley City.

I would also like to speak about division 24 of part 4 of this act, which states:

Division 24 of Part 4 amends the Parks Canada Agency Act to provide that, starting on April 1, 2021, any balance of money appropriated to the Parks Canada Agency that is not spent by the Agency in the fiscal year in which it was appropriated lapses at the end of that fiscal year.

Having spent over 32 years working in Parks Canada prior to politics, this clause initially caused me some concern. We heard another member raise that concern in the House today. However, after speaking with the acting CEO of the Parks Canada Agency, I was reassured that this would help the agency deal with certain aspects of its operations, including asset recapitalization, and would have no impact on revenue and new park establishment, which are very important to the Parks Canada Agency. Our government knows and understands that we must always work hard to preserve the natural spaces we enjoy.

Finally, we know that building a better Canada must include advancing reconciliation with indigenous peoples. That is why budget 2019 includes important new measures that would help advance self-determination and improve the quality of life for first nations, Inuit, and Métis nations people.

Budget 2019 would help create a better future for indigenous people by improving access to clean drinking water and health services, funding distinctions-based post-secondary education, supporting indigenous languages and promoting entrepreneurship and business in indigenous communities. Our government will continue to advance the important work of reconciliation for a better future for indigenous people and for all Canadians.

I am proud to support this bill, knowing how my riding of Cloverdale—Langley City would benefit from the measures contained in Bill C-97.

Community Service May 28th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the incredible work of a Cloverdale—Langley City resident, Dollie Greensides. In 1960, Dollie joined the Cloverdale Ladies Auxiliary, which was part of the Cloverdale Legion, two organizations with a rich history since 1927.

Since joining the ladies auxiliary, Dollie has served as treasurer, secretary, sergeant-at-arms and president. She has been instrumental in selling 50-50 tickets for many years and speaking to school children during the annual poppy campaign. For her outstanding service to the community, Dollie was awarded a life membership in 1985 and a meritorious service award in 1995. This is the highest medal in the ladies auxiliary.

Today, we can still find Dollie carrying colours to the branch general meeting, volunteering at the annual Christmas bazaar and serving beans at the Cloverdale Rodeo. Recently, Dollie was recognized for her 60 years of service to the Cloverdale Ladies Auxiliary at a special ceremony, surrounded by ladies auxiliary members, friends, and family. Past presidents and members spoke about Dollie's numerous accomplishments and awarded her with a 60-year service pin and bar.

My thanks to Dollie for all of her great service.