Langley-Aldergrove MP Mark Warawa has been named seniors critic in the Official Opposition’s shadow cabinet.
Warawa’s appointment, announced on Nov. 20, comes after the newly elected Liberal government eliminated the Conservative Minister of State for seniors issues position formerly held by Richmond Centre MP Alice Wong.
Wong, who won re-election, was named small business critic by new Conservative leader Rona Ambrose.
Three other Lower Mainland Tories were also appointed to shadow cabinet posts.
Former Surrey mayor Dianne Watts, in her first term as South Surrey-White Rock MP, was named critic for infrastructure and communities.
Veteran Abbotsford MP Ed Fast, the former government’s longtime minister of international trade, becomes the Opposition critic for environment and climate change.
Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon MP Mark Strahl is critic for fisheries and oceans, and the Coast Guard.
“I am deeply honoured to receive this role in Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition,” Warawa said of his shadow cabinet appointment.
“Canadian seniors remain a high priority for Conservatives,” Warawa said, noting that he himself is a senior.
“My job as Critic will be to help ensure that seniors are not overlooked by the current government.”
He noted that Canada’s population is in the middle of a fundamental shift that will see seniors make up a larger percentage of the population.
In 2012, almost one in seven Canadians was a senior; by 2030, that number is projected to jump to nearly one in four.
“Canada’s change in demographics will present new opportunities for our society,” Warawa said.
“It will also present challenges, to which the Government of Canada must demonstrate a commitment to ensure both the well-being of seniors and Canada’s future prosperity.”
Warawa was not a cabinet minister while Stephen Harper was Conservative leader, but was appointed as parliamentary secretary to the Minister of the Environment in 2006.
– with files from Jeff Nagel