AND then there were six!
Yes, following former Conservative MP Gurmant Grewal, Surrey businessman Paul Brar, former Liberal MLA Dave Hayer, life insurance salesman Mike Garisto and former Langley city councillor Dean Drysdale, there is now a sixth contender for the federal Conservative Party nomination in the new federal riding of Cloverdale-Langley City: Community advocate and Surrey business lawyer Tako van Popta.
“This is something that I have been passionate about for some time,” said Van Popta, a long time Conservative Party member who stepped down as president of the Langley Conservative Electoral District Association (EDA) to run in the nomination, on Wednesday. “We are fortunate in Langley City to have been very well represented by Member of Parliament 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.
Van Popta said: “It would be a dream come true for me to represent my home community in the House of Commons. 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.’”
Van Popta spent 10 years in the construction industry 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, Tako graduated from the UBC School of Law in 1989. Since that time, he has been working at McQuarrie Hunter LLP, a Central Surrey law firm, first as an associate, then as a partner, and for the last eight years as the firm’s managing partner.
Tako and his wife Inga have been married for 40 years and raised five children in Langley.
Van Popta has served as director and then Chairman of the Langley Memorial Hospital Board (1989-1995), as well as director and Chairman of the Elim Housing Society Board (2006-2012) which operates a seniors’ housing village in Surrey. Tako also chaired the Langley Township Economic Development Commission, and is an active member of the Langley Area Cycling Coalition.