Tako van Popta has entered the crowded race for the federal Conservative nomination in the new Cloverdale-Langley City riding.
There are now six candidates for the nomination. A nomination meeting has not yet been scheduled, but could take p lace later this fall.
Other candidates for the nomination are former MP Gurmant Grewal, former MLA Dave Hayer, Paul Brar, former Langley Township Councillor Dean Drysdale and Mike Garisto. Van Popta is a Surrey business lawyer. He stepped down as president of the Langley Conservative Electoral District Association (EDA) in order to run for the nomination.
“This is something that I have been passionate about for some time,” said Van Popta. “We are fortunate in Langley City to have been very well represented by MP Mark Warawa since 2004. I want to ensure that the same legacy of integrity, passion and commitment continues as the new Cloverdale-Langley City riding seeks representation.”
Van Popta was raised in Cloverdale and Langley City. He attended high school at Cloverdale Junior Secondary, and graduated from Langley Senior Secondary after his family moved to the city.
“It would be a dream come true for me to represent my home community in the House of Commons,” said Van Popta. “I have a passion for my community, for Canada and for politics generally. I grew up here. I’m well established in both areas so when the new riding was created straddling both communities, I thought, “It’s perfect for me, it fits my life story perfectly.”
He worked for 10 years as an electrician in Surrey and Langley before leaving to accomplish his goal of becoming a lawyer. After obtaining a degree at Trinity Western University, he graduated from the UBC School of Law in 1989. Since that time, he has been working at McQuarrie Hunter LLP, a Surrey law firm, first as an associate, then as a partner, and for the last eight years as the firm’s managing partner.
He was a director and then chairman of the Langley Memorial Hospital board, from 1989 to 1995, and a director and chairman of the Elim Housing Society board, which operates a seniors’ housing village in Surrey, from 2006 to 2012.
He has also chaired the Langley Township Economic Development Commission, and is an active member of the Langley Area Cycling Coalition.
“The riding is growing at a very rapid rate, one of the fastest growing areas in the country. Managing that growth – with the proper infrastructure, transportation, schools, access to health care etc., is very important to keep our community thriving. At the same time, we care about ensuring that our ‘small town values’ stay intact – community services, the ability to feel safe when we are walking around town, and maintaining that local vibe are also critical, with music, arts and recreation. Both Surrey and Langley City are doing a great job of building a community where you can live, work and play. And I love that.”