Veteran Conservative MP Mark Warawa has died after a battle with pancreatic and colon cancer.
Warawa’s family confirmed the news Thursday with a post on Facebook.
“Mark’s new address is in heaven, where he hopes to see you someday,” it reads.
First elected in 2004, the 69-year-old MP for B.C.’s Langley-Aldergrove went public with his health challenges in April, saying he was “praying for a miracle.” By the end of the month, he confirmed that it had spread to his lungs and lymphatic system.
He announced in January that he would not run for re-election this fall.
Warawa delivered an emotional farewell address to the House of Commons last month, where he spoke about his deep faith and his belief that no MP is in Parliament “by accident.”
Watch Warawa’s remarks:
“I may be around for a long time or I may be around for a short time,” he said at the time. “We do not know.”
He called on MPs to do more to improve Canada’s palliative care system and to show more kindness to each other.
“I want to encourage each of you to love one another, to encourage each other,” he said. “Do what is right. Be honest.”
Warawa’s office released a statement saying the MP passed away peacefully in hospice with his wife of 46 years, Diane, by his side. He leaves behind five children and 10 grandchildren.
He made his last public appearance at a Victoria Day parade in Fort Langley on May 21. Before making the jump to federal politics, Warawa served 14 years as a city councillor in Abbotsford.
Warawa ‘a true gentleman’: Scheer
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said in a statement that Warawa set an example for all other MPs.
“A respectful contributor to the debate, a fierce advocate for his constituents, and a strong defender of his principles. Mark was a true gentleman,” Scheer said.
“And 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.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called Warawa “a man of deep faith and principle who lived his life in service to others.”
With a file from Zi-Ann Lum