B.C. Conservative MP Mark Warawa dies after cancer diagnosis

OTTAWA — Conservative MP Mark Warawa has died after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer earlier this year.The 69-year-old B.C. politician represented the riding of Langley – Aldergrove, outside Vancouver. His family issued a statement on his Facebook page with a final message to constituents, saying it was an incredible honour to serve his community since being elected in 2004.Warawa was a devout Christian and his family says his "new address is in heaven.""Mark hopes that one day he will see you in heaven too," the statement said.Warawa died "peacefully with his loving wife by his side" at Langley Hospice, his office said in a separate statement, adding it was deeply saddened to announce his death "after a brief but valiant battle with cancer."The House of Commons suspended its morning schedule on Thursday. A framed photograph and white flowers sat on Warawa's desk.Deputy Conservative leader Lisa Raitt issued a statement on Twitter saying that while Warawa has moved on to a better place, she will carry him in her heart forever."Thank you to his whole family for sharing him with our country," Raitt said. "We are richer for it."In April, Warawa announced his diagnosis and in May he made an emotional farewell to the House of Commons, urging parliamentarians "to love one another, to encourage each other, because God loves us."He also used the speech to speak about the need to improve palliative care.Statistics show between 70 and 84 per cent of Canadians have no access to specialized health care at the end of life, Warawa said, adding the number is "tragic.""Science has shown us that you can live longer and (have) a better quality of life, in some cases, if you're given palliative care," he said."But that was not provided to me, those options. Why is that? The system's broken and needs to be fixed."Before entering federal politics, Warawa spent 14 years as a city councillor in Abbotsford, B.C.His office said he had been married to his wife Diane for 46 years and had five children and 10 grandchildren.Kristy Kirkup, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — Conservative MP Mark Warawa's family said his "new address is in heaven" on Thursday, announcing his death following a "brief but valiant battle" with pancreatic cancer.

The statement on his Facebook page gave a final message to his constituents, saying it had been an incredible honour to serve his community — the federal riding of Langley-Aldergrove, B.C., outside Vancouver — since being elected in 2004.

Warawa was a devout Christian and his family said he hoped "that one day he will see you in heaven too."

The 69-year-old died peacefully at Langley Hospice, his office said in a separate statement.

The House of Commons suspended its morning schedule on Thursday. A framed photograph and white flowers sat on Warawa's desk.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said Thursday he could not begin to express the sorrow and loss he and his wife feel following Warawa's death.

"Mark was a true gentleman," Scheer said. "While his warmth and kindness knew no partisan bounds, his love for his Conservative family was special. The Conservative caucus is devastated. He will be missed dearly."

Parliamentarians and Canadians also mourn Warawa's passing, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement.

"On behalf of the Government of Canada, I extend my deepest condolences to his wife Diane, his five children and 10 grandchildren, his friends and colleagues, and the many people he represented in his riding," he said.

In April, Warawa announced his diagnosis and in May he gave an emotional farewell to the House of Commons, urging parliamentarians "to love one another, to encourage each other, because God loves us."

He also used the speech to speak about the need to improve palliative care.

Statistics show between 70 and 84 per cent of Canadians have no access to specialized health care at the end of life, Warawa said, adding the number is "tragic."

"Science has shown us that you can live longer and (have) a better quality of life, in some cases, if you're given palliative care," he said at the time. "But that was not provided to me, those options. Why is that? The system's broken and needs to be fixed."

Before entering federal politics, Warawa spent 14 years as a city councillor in Abbotsford, B.C.

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Kristy Kirkup, The Canadian Press