Tako Van Popta thanked supporters and volunteers after the new Conservative MP won in Langley-Aldergrove. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

Tako Van Popta thanked supporters and volunteers after the new Conservative MP won in Langley-Aldergrove. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

New Conservative leader has to push for national unity: Langley MP

Andrew Scheer is stepping down as the party’s leader

The sudden announcement last week that federal Conservative Party’s Andrew Scheer will step down means Langley-area MPs will soon be part of a campaign to choose a new leader.

Langley-Aldergrove MP Tako van Popta had supported Scheer’s leadership campaign.

“I was surprised, I was disappointed,” van Popta said of Scheer’s sudden departure.

Van Popta said he told Scheer he respected his decision.

The Langley-Aldergrove MP was openly supportive of the Conservative leader in the immediate aftermath of election night, as it became clear that while the Conservatives had increased their seat count, the Liberals would ultimately form a minority government.

The party did well in B.C. and western Canada, van Popta noted, while failing to translate their high share of the popular vote – slightly more than the Liberals’ – into seats in urban and suburban southern Ontario.

Some media outlets reported that Scheer had been using party money to partially pay for his children’s private school tuition in Ottawa.

READ MORE: Scheer’s resignation tips party into internal war over school tuition payments

There have been conflicting reports about whether the expenditures were authorized within the party.

Van Popta said he doesn’t know anything about the issue he hasn’t read in the papers, and can’t comment.

A handful of Conservative politicians and party figures have announced they are already going to run or seriously considering running for the leadership, among them Erin O’Toole, who has said he will run, and Peter McKay, who has said he’s considering it.

Van Popta, a rookie MP who replaced long-serving MP Mark Warawa, said he is not going to go for the leadership.

The need to choose a new leaders is urgent because, theoretically, another election could come without warning.

“It’s a minority [government] situation, so I think the Conservative Party needs to move quickly on this,” said van Popta. “We don’t have the luxury of time.”

He will support the candidate best placed to keep the party united, van Popta said.

A potential candidate will need to put a focus on national unity and keeping the Conservatives a national party, he added. The Liberals, van Popta argues, have governed for central and eastern Canada.

“The Conservative response should not be ‘Well then, we’ll represent the west,’” he said.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Federal PoliticsLangley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Worksafe BC temporary closure order posted on the front entrance of the Langley Canadian Tire on Thursday, April 29. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
First Langley business in several days hit by COVID-19 closure order

A plumbing company is the latest to have to shut down temporarily

Acting RCMP Supt. Bhatti told council property crime in Langley City took a “significant” drop in the first three months of the year, but the number of mail theft incidents more than doubled (City of Langley video feed)
VIDEO: Property crime drops in Langley City: report

Reduction called ‘significant’ by acting officer in charge of Langley RCMP detachment

Matt Trulsen of Maple Ridge went on from the PJHL to excel in junior college hockey in the U.S. (Dakota College at Bottineau/Special to The News)
B.C. goaltender excels in U.S. junior college

Matt Trulsen, brother of the late Noah, calls community support ‘amazing’

The new Langley Memorial Hospital emergency room opened for its first patients on Tuesday, May 4. (Government of B.C./Special to the Langley Advance Times)
The new Langley Memorial Hospital emergency room opened for its first patients on Tuesday, May 4. (Government of B.C./Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Langley Memorial’s new ER open for patients

After years of fundraising and construction, the ER is complete

Commissioner Austin Cullen, lawyer Brock Martland, and former cabinet minister and Langley East MLA Rich Coleman, as Coleman testified before the money laundering commission on Wednesday, April 28. Coleman has been recalled for May 14. (Screengrab)
Langley’s Coleman returns for second round of testimony at money laundering hearings

The former longtime Liberal MLA and cabinet minister will testify May 14.

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

Ripy Jubbal of Abbotsford has received a 30-month jail sentence for the fraudulent use of credit cards and credit card data. (Facebook photo)
Abbotsford woman sentenced for $80K in fraudulent credit card purchases

Ripy Jubbal and spouse used identities of 19 different victims, court hears

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

A picture of Shirley Ann Soosay was rendered from a postmortem photographer and circulated on social media. (DDP graphic)
B.C. genealogist key to naming murder victim in decades-old California cold case

In July 1980, Shirley Ann Soosay was raped and stabbed to death

Most Read