Interventions in the House of Commons
 
 
 
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View Geoff Regan Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Geoff Regan Profile
2019-06-20 12:04 [p.29467]
My dear colleagues, there have been discussions among members of the parties in the House, and I understand that we will now proceed to tributes to our late colleague, Mark Warawa.
I now recognize the member for Abbotsford.
View Ed Fast Profile
CPC (BC)
View Ed Fast Profile
2019-06-20 12:05 [p.29467]
Mr. Speaker, my dear friend, our dear friend, Mark Warawa, died this morning. He passed away after a brief but valiant battle against cancer. He died peacefully, with his loving wife, Diane, by his side at Langley Hospice.
Members will know that Mark announced his retirement from politics in January of this year, well before his cancer diagnosis in April. He had planned, in his retirement, to continue a community service as chaplain to seniors, something that was very close to his heart. By the way, he was not going to be paid for that service; he was just going to contribute back to his community. Sadly, he did not live long enough to embark upon that new adventure.
On May 7, Mark found enough strength to deliver his farewell speech in this House, which was received with a standing ovation and many tears from his fellow MPs from every party in the House. On May 21, Mark made his last public appearance, waving from his car and greeting well-wishers at the Fort Langley May Day Parade.
For those who do not know, Mark began his public life as an Abbotsford city councillor, serving for 14 years under the tutelage of George Ferguson, Abbotsford's legendary and longest-serving mayor. Mark and I served on city council together. Along with former councillor Simon Gibson, we were called the three horsemen, because of our tendency to vote the same way on many issues. Mark and I thoroughly enjoyed our time on council, and we became lifelong friends, as did our wives, Annette and Diane.
Mark then moved to federal politics, winning the election as a Conservative candidate for the newly formed electoral district of Langley back in June 2004. He was re-elected five times, the last time in October 2015.
As MPs, we love to socialize together. What the public sees in this House is actually quite different from what happens outside of this House. We are all colleagues; we are all friends, and a lot of us socialize together.
On our side, there were five of us who called ourselves the MP5. We are all very interested in music and singing gospel music. As I mentioned in my earlier comments, the MP5 had the chance to sing at the National Arts Centre. That went okay, but members should know that of all our repertoire, there was one song that was Mark's favourite, and it began with the line, “I woke up this morning feeling fine.” This morning, Mark Warawa woke up feeling extra fine.
Mark loved this place and what this place represents, the heart of our democracy and the place where serious national issues are debated without fear of recrimination. He also loved his MP colleagues and respected the role we all play in defending a free and democratic society. Indeed, he loved to promote these values around the world. It was actually only a few months ago that Mark, as a Ukrainian Canadian, served as an official election monitor in the Ukrainian elections. Sadly, he had to return to Canada early because of his illness.
I know he was dearly loved by those who work in this House. In fact, if there was an award for the kindest MP in the House, I am guessing he would have won that award. However, if we had asked Mark what the most important thing in his life was, he would have said it was his deep and abiding faith in God's providence and hand on his life.
Mark embraced his journey with cancer as he did most things, with dignity and grace, with courage and hope, with an open heart and lots of prayer. He was a passionate Christ follower and loved Jesus with all his heart and soul. That is what he would have wanted us to have known and remembered him for.
Mark was a devoted husband to his wife of 46 years, Diane, and father to their five children: Jonathan, Ryan, Nathan, Eric and Kristen. He was a grandparent as well to 10 grandchildren. Together we grieve with all of them, but not as those without hope. Mark knew where he was going and what his final glorious destination would be.
To all of the Warawa family, we say thank you. You shared Mark with us for so many years. Thank you for his service to Canada and for his commitment to promoting the values that all of us hold so dear.
Mark will be missed, but I know he is rejoicing in the presence of his Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Mark, from all of us in the House, especially from your Conservative family, Godspeed, till we meet again.
View John Aldag Profile
Lib. (BC)
View John Aldag Profile
2019-06-20 12:12 [p.29468]
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.
View Nathan Cullen Profile
NDP (BC)
View Nathan Cullen Profile
2019-06-20 12:15 [p.29468]
Mr. Speaker, today I rise to join colleagues in paying tribute to a friend and colleague, Mark Warawa. I think all of us agree that we would have given anything to be talking about something else here today than Mark's passing.
It is such a tribute to Mark that there are so many of us here today, choosing not to head home to our own families, and that all parties are here, and independents, regardless of whether we often or even ever agreed with Mark on his politics and policies. I am including my Conservative colleagues in that. He was a man of such deep faith and conviction, and he held those convictions with such a degree of grace and certainty, which is sometimes too rare in our world.
Today was meant to be a day of ending, as we conclude this Parliament, as we reflect as parliamentarians on our time here, be it these past four years or for some of us many more years. It is also a day, by bad circumstance, that we are talking about a different kind of ending.
It is a privilege to stand in this place. Mark always saw that to be true for him, so much so that even as he was so sick, he was determined to come back and give his farewell address to the House, despite his doctors not necessarily agreeing with that.
I am honoured to speak on behalf of my New Democratic colleagues. Mark was an opponent, yet never an enemy. Our friendship was most unlikely. We come from different generations and opposite ends of the political spectrum on almost every issue, yet we found some common ground in the humanity we could share in this place. I think I can speak for many colleagues who also saw that humanity on display.
I do have to tell one story, though. I was reflecting this morning about one day when, in the heat of debate, I said something that really upset Mark. I honestly do not remember what it was. I guess I have one of those memories.
Mark came right up to me in my seat. He got right in my face and was really mad, almost on the edge of asking me to step outside. I was a bit shocked. It seemed out of character for him, yet, within minutes, he was back at my desk, apologizing and wanting to make things right. It is important to consider that I do not remember what we were arguing about, but I do remember the apology. I remember the humanity.
For him, I think politics was very personal, but he never made it personal, and that is a rare gift.
I was raised in the church. I do not claim to know definitively what a good Christian is, but Mark strove in every way to be one.
I also think we are talking a lot about family today, political family and Mark's family, Diane, Jonathan, Ryan, Nathan, Eric and Kristen. There are families we are born into and there are families we choose.
Diane and Mark were married for just a little less time than I have been alive. Mark, in his final comments to me, said, “I always thought of you as a son”, again, curious and somewhat unlikely, our friendship.
Today is about an ending. It is about mourning and it is about honouring. I join my colleagues and friends in honouring the memory of Mark, and I wish Diane and his entire family the very best and peace.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2019-06-20 12:19 [p.29469]
Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I would like to offer my condolences to Mr. Warawa's family and friends and to his colleagues in the Conservative caucus.
Mr. Warawa proudly served the people of Langley—Aldergrove for 15 years. He was taken from us by cancer today, reminding us that there is still a long way to go to beat this terrible disease.
The last time he addressed the House, Mr. Warawa knew this day would come. He reminded us that members must not let themselves get too caught up in politics and forget what matters. He told us to take care of ourselves and to spend time with our families, because in the end, that is what really matters.
Rest in peace, Mark. Thank you for your public service and your contribution to your country.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2019-06-20 12:20 [p.29469]
Mr. Speaker and dear friends, the hon. member for Langley—Aldergrove can now be addressed by his real name, because he has passed from us.
Mark Warawa was a dear friend of mine, and I want to identify some things about my experience of knowing Mark, in expressing my deep condolences to Diane.
One thing I noticed right away about Mark is that it was Mark and Diane. There is a plane that leaves Vancouver to bring B.C. MPs to Ottawa every week, and sometimes I call it the school bus. If there was a spouse who was almost always there, it was Diane. I think she travelled to Ottawa with Mark more often than most.
I know how hard this is right now. As we know, Mark is in the arms of our Lord, and it is Diane to whom we send our prayers and deepest condolences, so she may have strength in this difficult time.
This is how I knew Mark. I was elected to this place in 2011. From 2006 to 2011, before I was elected, Mark Warawa had the title of Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment. I worked with him often. I talked to him often. Although we did not agree on policy, his personal commitments were clear. He and Diane had done many things in their own home: They had solar panels; they composted. He could go on and on. He really was committed to doing things in his own life to make this a better world.
He also created a local award in Langley for environmental heroes. It mattered to him. He did things in his own way. He never would have thwarted policies of his own party; I am not suggesting that at all. He was committed, and he took the time to talk to me and, as we have heard, always in respectful ways.
When I was elected, I got to know Mark in a whole new way. I hope Canadians will be happy to know such a thing exists, as we do not talk about it very much here, but the one truly non-partisan thing that happens in this place, every single Wednesday at 7 a.m., is that we gather in prayer. My brother from Battle River—Crowfoot looks at me and I am going to start crying. It keeps me going, goodness knows, to know that despite the fact that we may not agree on anything, we are able to love each other.
I loved Mark. He was so clear, focused and devoted to the Lord in his day-to-day life and, as we have heard from other members from other parties, in how he conducted himself in this place.
He had real courage. One thing we have talked about lately at the procedure and House affairs committee is how to reduce the role of the party whips in controlling what happens here. A lot of people talk about it, but in my eight years of experience, Mark Warawa was the bravest in standing up against a party whip. He told us that when he was going to give his Standing Order 31 statement, he was told by the whip he was not allowed to bring it forward. At the time, the Speaker ruled on that. Eleven other members of Parliament, including many members of Mark's party, stood up to agree with him.
I just want it remembered that Mark stood up for democracy in this place, when he could have been afraid, when he could have taken the easy route and not thwarted his party whip. He had confidence in the right of all members of Parliament in this place to speak to what was in their hearts and say what they wanted to say in their own 60-second opportunity every few months. He stood up on principle and asked for the Speaker to rule that his rights had been violated. That was brave.
Of many things about Mark Warawa's life, he will be remembered. As we heard from the member for Abbotsford, he was a community champion, working at the local level and municipal government before coming to this place. As the member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley so rightly said, he was someone known for his kindness. I also want him remembered for his willingness to reach across party lines.
There was a moment, and this is my last story, when a student from Langley contacted me. He was on an adventure in citizenship program. He said that he was supposed to have lunch with his own MP, but since he was not a Conservative, he wanted to meet me. I said to him, “Your MP is a great guy. I think you should have lunch with both of us.” I asked Mark, and he said, “Absolutely, let's both take our student to lunch.”
We had this wonderful, wide-ranging conversation about environmental goals. I could see this young high school student's eyes light up because he realized he did not have to be a Conservative to love his MP. He just had to know him and know that he really was doing the best he could by his own lights every day. Then, in a truly generous gesture, Mark picked up the tab. That does not happen every day, around here or anywhere.
God bless you, Mark. God, greet one of your wonderful spirits, a soul who has served you well. Give him eternal rest. Let light perpetual shine upon him. Thank you, Lord, that we came to know him and call him friend.
View Geoff Regan Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Geoff Regan Profile
2019-06-20 12:27 [p.29470]
I want to thank the hon. members for Abbotsford, Cloverdale—Langley City, Skeena—Bulkley Valley, Montcalm and Saanich—Gulf Islands for their very eloquent comments, to which I think we all want to attach ourselves.
Mark Warawa will be missed by all of us. He was a dedicated member of Parliament whose constituents' faith in him returned him to the House an impressive five times. Even more important, he was a good and kind man.
I knew him for many years. We served together on the Standing Committee on Natural Resources. We would often chat when walking back and forth between the House and committee. In all the years I knew him, whether it was privately or in the House or in committee, I never once heard him speak to or about anyone with malice.
He spoke here of course on May 7, his last appearance in the House, and it seems like only moments ago. He spoke with calm and serene confidence and courage. He still had some hope that maybe there would be a solution for him, something that would overcome this problem with cancer, but he also knew what might lie ahead and he faced it with serenity and courage.
He spoke about his work as a member of Parliament, his love for this place and love for his constituents. He spoke, of course, about his wife Diane and his love for her and for his children and grandchildren, to whom we all offer our condolences. Those people meant a lot to him, as I know his constituents did.
Colleagues, if we are all the poorer for his passing, we are the richer for having known him.
I invite all hon. members to stand to observe a moment of silence in honour of our dear colleague Mark Warawa.
[A moment of silence observed]
View Candice Bergen Profile
CPC (MB)
View Candice Bergen Profile
2019-06-19 14:37 [p.29387]
Mr. Speaker, breaking ethics rules is par for the course for the Liberals. There have been so many ethics investigations of the Prime Minister and his caucus that there is probably a speed dial from the commissioner's office to the Prime Minister's. The Prime Minister himself has been found guilty of breaking four laws with his illegal vacation.
Could the Prime Minister tell us, with all of these scandals, exactly how many times he has been interviewed by the Ethics Commissioner. Is he proud of his legacy of scandal, corruption and entitlement?
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2019-06-19 14:37 [p.29387]
Mr. Speaker, once again, we see the Conservatives unable to actually challenge us on the economy, on the environment and on indigenous peoples, so they choose to sling mud.
We are confident that Canadians will look at how we listened to them, how we worked for them and how we saw the creation of a million jobs, the lowest unemployment in 40 years and the lifting of 825,000 Canadians out of poverty, including 300,000 kids.
Canadians know that this government is on the right track for growing the middle class and helping people working hard to join it.
View Candice Bergen Profile
CPC (MB)
View Candice Bergen Profile
2019-06-19 14:38 [p.29387]
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister believes that there is one set of rules for him and his friends and one set for everyone else in this country. For example, there are his well-connected friends at SNC-Lavalin. They have given over $100,000 in illegal donations to the Liberals, and they got unprecedented access to the Prime Minister and his office.
Will the Prime Minister admit that he inappropriately pressured the former attorney general just to help his buddies at SNC-Lavalin?
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2019-06-19 14:39 [p.29387]
Mr. Speaker, obviously, the Conservatives are struggling for questions to ask, because they keep returning to this approach. It did not work for them before. It is really a sign of desperation as we head to meet with Canadians and talk about our plan for the next four years.
We have worked to create over a million new jobs in this country. We have delivered in lifting hundreds of thousands of Canadians out of poverty. We are continuing to demonstrate what leadership on the environment, leadership on the international file and reconciliation with indigenous peoples look like. That is something the Conservatives have a lot of difficulty with.
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2019-06-19 14:39 [p.29387]
Mr. Speaker, this Prime Minister is the first in Canadian history to be found guilty of violating the Conflict of Interest Act not once, but four times. He took $215,000 of taxpayer money to travel illegally with his family and friends to the Aga Khan's private island. These offences could constitute a violation of subsection 121(1) of the Criminal Code.
I have one simple question for the Prime Minister. How many times did he meet with the RCMP and the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner?
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2019-06-19 14:40 [p.29387]
Mr. Speaker, as everyone can see, the Conservatives are resorting to personal attacks.
The Conservatives are focusing their attention on us, while we remain focused on Canadians. We have created one million new jobs over the past four years. Canada's unemployment rate is at a 40-year low. We have lifted 825,000 Canadians and 300,000 children out of poverty.
The reality is that our plan to invest in Canadians and to create growth for everyone, including the middle class, is working.
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2019-06-19 14:41 [p.29388]
Mr. Speaker, let's talk about the SNC-Lavalin affair and Vice-Admiral Norman.
The Prime Minister tried to cancel Davie's contract to help his Liberal Party friends. The Prime Minister did everything in his power to destroy the reputation of Vice-Admiral Norman, an honest and conscientious man of integrity, just as he did to the former justice minister and the former president of the Treasury Board.
Why did the Prime Minister try to ruin the careers of these honest people who simply wanted to stand up for the interests of Canadians?
View Lisa Raitt Profile
CPC (ON)
View Lisa Raitt Profile
2019-06-19 14:42 [p.29388]
Mr. Speaker, the work of the opposition on this side is to simply hold the Prime Minister to account for his own actions. He broke the Conflict of Interest Act, so did a number of his cabinet ministers. When two female cabinet ministers spoke truth to power, they were shoved out of caucus.
When the Minister of Finance, the former minister of fisheries and the Prime Minister himself broke conflict of interest laws, with a little wink and a nod, they were forgiven. I am wondering if the Prime Minister can tell us if the reason for this is simply, “Well, it's 2019”.
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