It will be a rebuilding period for the Conservative Party, said re-elected Langley-Aldergrove MP Mark Warawa.
In the wake of the Liberal victory, Warawa finds himself in opposition. He’s familiar with the role, having served two years there during Paul Martin’s term as prime minister from 2004-06.
Once the caucus has chosen an interim leader and a whip, they’ll need to sort out which members will take on duties as official critics of various government files, and which will serve on various committees.
Warawa has worked on the environment file several times and said that would be his first choice, but he’s also interested in justice and industry.
“We’ll just see where they need me,” he said.
With chances to present private members bills handed out early in the mandate, Warawa is hoping to bring forward a bill inspired by Langley’s Markita Kaulius. Her daughter was killed by a drunk driver, and Warawa wants to amend sentencing laws for drunk drivers and to toughen penalties for those who cause fatal crashes.
Having seen the political landscape flip from Liberal to Conservative and back again, Warawa is hoping that he can work with the new government when need be.
“I don’t like adversarial politics,” Warawa said. “Of course, philosophically we may be different.”
Warawa does plan to talk to John Aldag, the newly elected Liberal MP for the Cloverdale-Langley City riding.
The two can likely work together on projects of interest to Langley City and Township, Warawa said.
“It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you’re working together instead of fighting each other,” Warawa said.
He also plans to go to the Liberals to try to make sure the federal funding for a new 216th Street highway interchange still goes through. It was a top priority for local governments, Warawa noted. The project was announced just days before the election was called.
Warawa still has no idea who will be the eventual new leader of the Conservatives, the first new leader since Stephen Harper unified the Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservatives.
Warawa said he wasn’t surprised at the Liberal victory, but he was surprised that they won a majority.