Mark Warawa spent a dozen years as an Abbotsford city councillor and the last 11 as a Conservative MP for the Langley riding.
Now running in the re-aligned Langley-Aldergrove riding, Warawa said he first got into civic politics because of a dream that he’d been elected.
The next day, a friend had also had the same dream, and Warawa, then a small business owner in Abbotsford, decided he ought to put his name on the ballot.
Warawa was one of the deciding votes on the amalgamation of Matsqui and Abbotsford, and in 1996 he ran for the provincial B.C. Reform Party, but he avoided federal politics.
With five young children, Warawa didn’t want to be heading across country to Ottawa. It wasn’t until his kids were grown and he’d moved back to Langley, where they were born, that he jumped into the federal race for the then-new Langley riding in 2004.
“I try to stay non-partisan as much as possible,” Warawa said.
His proudest accomplishment, Warawa said, was the passage last year of the Safe at Home bill, which banned child sex offenders from living within two kilometers of their young victims.
The bill passed with almost unanimous support in the House of Commons.
Warawa has also worked on passing other private members bills or on legislation with other MPs, including making car immobilizers mandatory for new vehicles.
He has also worked with local politicians, bringing everyone to the table to help solve local problems that were outside the scope of just the federal government.
Warawa said issues like dredging the Bedford Channel and upgrading the Aldergrove border crossing took multiple groups and agencies working together.
His main effort, if re-elected, will be to continue working to support a petition by Langley’s Markita Kaulius, whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver. Kaulius wants mandatory sentencing for impaired driving, among other changes.
He said he’s also concerned about upcoming legislation that will be needed on physician-assisted suicide, following a Supreme Court decision.