House of Commons Hansard #50 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was pension.

Topics

Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

1:25 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, there are two types of measures: those that are done by political parties for politics, and those that are done to really help people.

I have to hand it to the Conservatives because sometimes they will take what seems like a good idea, in some cases proposed by the NDP or the Liberals, to help low income seniors or to help volunteer firefighters, but instead of funding it in a way that can really help people, they malnourish the proposals. They get all the bang for the buck out of the announcement. They get all the politics in the short term when people think they are going to get help.

There is a lot of after-sale disappointment when people realize their lives have not changed a bit, and that they have been duped. They have been sold a bill of goods by the Conservatives during an election, who said that they were going to help volunteer firefighters, or low income seniors who need help with the GIS. The Conservatives are counting on Canadians to not really do the math. They are expecting to get away with it, and they do quite frequently.

The reality is that if they are serious about helping people, they have to make sure the programs and the tax measures that they commit to are delivered substantively. Thee have to ensure that the funding is there to actually make a difference in people's lives. Otherwise it is just politics and it is not about helping people.

Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

1:25 p.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Willowdale.

It is my pleasure on behalf of the people of Renfrew--Nipissing--Pembroke to speak in support of the legislation before us, the keeping Canada's economy and jobs growing act.

The decision by the people of Canada to vote in favour of a strong, stable, majority government was our mandate to get on with the job of providing Canadians with good government.

My constituents recognize that providing sound financial leadership means making the right decisions to keep Canada on track as the best place to live in the world. If Canada is to maintain its standard of living in today's world, we need to anticipate tomorrow's economy and the jobs that will be required for that.

Energy to power our needs in the future is recognized by our government as where we need to be proactive. Our budget continues to provide significant financial investment in the Canadian nuclear industry.

Bill C-13 contains elements of restructuring efforts of AECL dating back to 1993. The process is recognized as ongoing, which is where I would like to focus my comments today.

The Chalk River laboratories of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited represent the retained assets of the crown corporation in our restructuring efforts to strengthen, diversify and support the thousands of jobs associated with this industry.

Our government has provided financial support to AECL that was necessary after many years of neglect by the old government.

Just like a car that needs service and proper maintenance to keep it running smoothly and safely, the same is true of Canada's nuclear assets. For example, even though corrosion on the containment vessel in the NRU, Canada's research reactor, had been observed, the former government decided to follow a policy that would have resulted in the loss of thousands of jobs and the hollowing out of an industry in which Canadians are recognized as world leaders. It viewed Chalk River laboratories as nothing more than an isotope factory, when in fact the science of nuclear medicine is but one of the lifesaving discoveries that have been made on site.

On November 16, 2011, Dr. Robert Walker, president and CEO of AECL nuclear laboratories, was pleased to report that we have a new five year licence at the Chalk River site. That is a demonstration of Canadian confidence in the nuclear labs at Chalk River.

The keeping Canada's economy and jobs growing act means supporting science, research and development for the jobs of tomorrow.

The former government did not foresee the increased demand for clean, affordable, sustainable energy.

The possible use of nuclear energy for electric power production was discussed in the early years of the nuclear research program, but the first definitive key decision came early in 1953 when it was stated in this very chamber:

Here in Canada we believe that the time has come to undertake the development of atomic power in this country, and discussions are going on as to ways and means of bringing about that development. We feel that the production of power is the concern of those who distribute power, organizations like the Hydro Electric Power Commission of Ontario, or the major privately-owned power companies.

Half a century after Rutherford demonstrated for the first time the existence of the atomic nucleus, Canada launched into the 20th century of high technology.

The pursuit by W.B. Lewis, an outstanding scientist of world stature, and his colleagues at AECL Chalk River laboratories of the neutron economy resulted in low fuel costs for Candu, which stands for Canada deuterium uranium reactors, and this became a significant factor in their success. In 1987, the centennial of engineering in Canada, the Candu reactor was ranked as one of the country's top ten engineering achievements.

The former government did not recognize the achievements of Chalk River laboratories, such as in its role in radiation therapy.

In 1951, at the Chalk River plant in Ontario, a group of scientists isolated a source of radiation even stronger than X-rays. It was, and still is, widely used to treat cancer patients. The source of this radiation was the radioactive isotope cobalt-60. The production of this radioactive isotope and the required nuclear activity was carried out in Canada four years before it was repeated in any other country.

The Canada Student Loans Act is assisting young scientists who are studying neutron scattering. The former government forgot about the pioneering work conducted by Bertram Brockhouse, which laid the foundation for the field of inelastic neutron scattering, and for which he shared the 1994 Nobel prize in physics.

A beam of neutrons can be directed onto a specimen of material. By measuring how the beam is reflected, scientists can learn a great deal about the structure of a specimen at the atomic level.

Using the technique that Brockhouse pioneered, the NRC Canadian Neutron Beam Centre at NRU today enables scientists from across Canada and around the world to investigate new materials with neutrons. In fact, after the tragedy with the space shuttle Challenger, NASA commissioned the Canadian Neutron Beam Centre to determine whether or not it was a seal that caused the accident.

Dr. Dominic Ryan, president of the Canadian Institute for Neutron Scattering, outlined that the NRC-CNBC in Chalk River is Canada's scientific hub for research using neutron beams as probes of materials. Since everything is made of material, even our own bodies, materials research using neutron beams has a broad range of applications.

With regard to spin-offs from Chalk River, the Chalk River Laboratories act as a science and technology catalyst for innovation contributing to industry success both domestically and internationally. It has mastered the transfer of bench-top science through to practical applications, on to commercialization and manufacturing. That means jobs.

Another aspect of Chalk River is the security. In addition to maintaining and growing Canada's capability in the nuclear energy industry, improving reliability in the supply of medical radioisotopes and improving the understanding of the effect of radiation on human health, Chalk River Laboratories is ensuring the safety and security for Canada.

A key technology developed at AECL is used by United Nations inspectors to verify that countries are complying with the international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and are not developing nuclear weapons.

Known as the Cerenkov viewing device, it allows the UN International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, safeguard inspectors to examine nuclear fuel to confirm it is not being diverted from civilian to military purposes.

AECL Nuclear Laboratories recently patented the state-of-the-art advancement of this technology which allows for total automation of this vital task for the very first time. With millions of shipping containers around the world and over 45,000 trucks crossing North American borders every day, one of the significant challenges for port and border inspection agencies is the detection of illicit nuclear material in transportation containers.

Accurate and expedient results are not only vital to ensure the security of our borders but also ensure the efficient flow of goods and services between the two trading partner nations.

AECL Nuclear Laboratories, in collaboration with Defence Research and Development Canada, the Canadian Border Security Agency, Health Canada and several Canadian universities have recently patented a detection technology similar to CAT scan machines used in hospitals.

Instead of producing an internal image of a patient, it indicates the presence of nuclear material such as uranium and plutonium that may be hidden in shipping containers.

In parallel, AECL is currently working with a Canadian company developing low powered, inexpensive, pocket-size radiation detectors for infield use for practical radiation detection of nuclear materials. That, in addition to 3,300 AECL jobs, spells more jobs.

Chalk River Laboratories is also improving nuclear and related technology safety. It has developed technology to absorb the excess hydrogen and reduce the risk. It is called the passive autocatalytic recombiner. The technology uses no moving parts and is making our reactors safe here in Canada and around the world.

The domestic Canadian nuclear industry has specifically benefited from this technology and it is addressed as a requirement that the federal nuclear regulator placed on the industry to address the hydrogen hazards. AECL technology is also mitigating nuclear accidents.

I see that I am out of time, so I will answer any questions.

Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

1:40 p.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Conservative

Chungsen Leung Parliamentary Secretary for Multiculturalism

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague, the member for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, for sharing her time.

It is an honour to rise in the House today to speak to third reading of Bill C-13, keeping Canada's economy and jobs growing act. I am proud to stand to speak in support of our government's record.

Last May Canadians elected a strong Conservative government, a government that has earned the trust of Canadians. Our government worked hard in two minority governments to achieve this. For too many years before that, Canadians had a government that lacked accountability and transparency, a government that treated taxpayers' dollars recklessly. In May, Canadians spoke loud and clear, and chose a government that has earned their respect and confidence.

Our government has steadfastly provided good economic policies that have allowed this great country to weather the global slowdown better than many other industrial countries. It is our task to continue on and support the policies that have allowed Canada to remain strong.

Our government is focused on what matters to Canadians: creating jobs and promoting economic growth. While Canadians are keenly aware of this, the G7 countries are also aware of our economic position. The International Monetary Fund has projected that Canada will be among the strongest in economic growth of the G7 for the next two years. This is a time to continue with the sound policies of our 2011 budget which does this.

It is our duty as a government to look beyond this moment and work to create positive successful policies that will provide for our future generations. Bill C-13, keeping Canada's economy and jobs growing act, is about precisely that. With the support that is provided to communities by legislating a permanent annual investment of $2 billion in the gas tax fund to provide predictable long-term infrastructure funding for municipalities and enhancing the wage earner protection program, we are looking to the future and working beyond today's economy. Canadians expect that and we are delivering it.

In my riding of Willowdale, a very urban riding, we recently announced a new partnership between Seneca College with small and medium-sized businesses, enterprises that will help conduct research and bring innovative ideas to market, bringing innovative ideas to commercialization.

Commercialization is the engine for job creation and employment for young entrepreneurs and students who are coming into the job market. This is due to investment from the Federal Economic Development Agency. Our government is working to make the most of our opportunities to innovate, adapt and grow, and secure a prosperous future. I was proud to share in this announcement. It is policies like these that have Canada moving in the right direction, a direction that has been envied by many countries in the world.

We are continuing to help families by introducing the new family caregiver tax credit to assist caregivers of all types of infirm dependent relatives. We know that families are the pillars of our communities. We want them to have the resources they require to have the best opportunities and sound futures. By removing the limit on the amount of eligible expenses caregivers can now claim under the medical expense tax credit, we are assisting those who are financially dependent on relatives. We understand the pressures that Canadians face.

Furthermore, the child arts tax credit is one of that many parents in Willowdale will want to utilize. We understand the benefits of these programs to children and families, and we know that supporting these artistic, cultural and recreational activities will benefit our future citizens in many ways.

Our government has shown respect for taxpayers. The keeping Canada's economy and jobs growing act phases out the direct subsidy of political parties. Political parties should not be directly subsidized by Canadian tax dollars.

The Toronto Board of Trade has said that the 2011 federal budget achieves a prudent balance of taxability and deficit reduction measures while pointing to long-term infrastructure investment opportunities. This is a good plan for both Toronto and Canada.

Our government believes in low taxes. We want to leave more hard-earned money in the pockets of Canadians. My colleagues across the floor continue to have a high tax agenda that would increase taxes on job creating businesses to pay for billions and billions of reckless spending and bloated government programs in Ottawa. Canadians spoke against such policies last spring.

We have cut taxes 120 times since 2006, reducing the overall debt burden to the lowest level in nearly 50 years.

I think we are one of the most competitive low tax jurisdictions in the world.

Under our government, Canada has had seven straight quarters of economic growth and created nearly 600,000 net new jobs since July 2009, of which over 80% are full-time positions.

Our government is enhancing our guaranteed income supplement. Eligible low income seniors will now receive an additional benefit of up to $600 for single seniors and $840 for couples, helping more than 680,000 seniors across Canada. We understand the challenges that some seniors are facing in these tough economic times and the GIS will put more dollars in their pockets.

Recently, the Royal Bank of Canada released its economic survey suggesting that Canada's economy is set to pick up despite volatile global financial markets. The RBC has indicated that it is expected that the Canadian economy will rebound. I am confident that the sound fiscal and sometimes difficult choices of the government have paved the way for this.

On this side of the House we also understand that families want to lower their heating and electricity bills by making their homes more energy efficient. That is why we are extending the eco-energy retrofit homes program. This program has been a success. Until March 31, 2012, homeowners are eligible to receive grants of up to $5,000 to make their homes more energy efficient. I know many of the residents of Willowdale will want to make energy-efficient improvements at home and this program will help them.

Our government understands the importance of this program to Canadians. It has the added benefit of creating a green economy, the precise economy that we are looking for to meet the challenges of the 21st century and to help the new economy on its path to conserve jobs and to build new jobs. There has been much discussion with respect to new technologies and the new green economy.

Our government understands that Canadians are worried about the quality of the air we breathe, along with pollutants and chemicals affecting our environment. Canadian families deserve the best air, water and cleanest environment possible.

The next phase of Canada's economic action plan maintains our Conservative government's strong record of supporting a cleaner and more sustainable environment. I will outline some of the measures that we have put in place to do this.

Indeed, for 2011-12, our Conservative government is investing more to protect the environment than in 2010-11. Investments include: $400 million for the eco-energy retrofit homes program to support Canadians in making their homes more energy efficient, $252 million to support regulatory activities to address climate change and air quality, nearly $200 million to help address the health and environmental risks posed by dangerous chemicals through the chemicals management plan, $97 million to develop and promote clean energy technologies, $86 million to support clean energy regulatory actions, $68 million to clean up federal contaminated sites, $48 million to develop transportation sector regulations and next generation clean transportation initiatives, $40 million to support new climate change and clean air projects under Sustainable Development Technology Canada, $35 million to support climate and atmospheric sciences research, and the list goes on.

Our government is moving in the right direction on the environment. I am confident of the results of these initiatives for today and for future generations.

We are focused on what matters to Canadians, which is to create jobs and promote economic growth. We have taken strategic measures to help weather the global economic slowdown. However, we need to stay the course and implement the next phase of Canada's economic action plan.

I urge my colleagues across the floor to support this legislation, which is a continuation of sound policy that has made Canada the envy of many countries.

We have worked hard as a government to assist our entrepreneurs and we are continuing this in budget 2011. The new hiring credit for small business will provide up $1,000 against small business EI premiums for new hires.

The World Economic Forum has ranked Canada's banking system as the strongest and safest in the world. The policies of our government have not gone unnoticed. The Economist magazine has named Canada the best place to invest and do business in the next five years.

Having indicated all of these policies are in place, I urge my colleagues across the way to support these measures, the continuation of sound economic ideas that have proven to be sound and comprehensive.

Our Prime Minister and finance minister are working hard to keep Canada on track. I am proud to work with them on these vital programs in budget 2011.

Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, I listened very intently to my hon. colleague across the way comparing Canada, as the government often does, to other G7 countries.

The U.K. just announced that over one million young people in the United Kingdom cannot find a job. Thirty per cent of the young people in Italy cannot find a job. It is a bit rich for the government to be comparing Canada with economies that are in dire need.

I know the member opposite is a businessman himself. He understands these issues. He comes from the GTA. How many of these mythical jobs that the Conservative government has created are jobs that come with pensions, jobs that come benefits, jobs that we could see raising a family with, especially within the GTA?

Can the member opposite confirm that we can raise a family on a $10-an-hour job, with no benefits, with no pension, with no job security? I would like him to answer that question.

Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

Chungsen Leung Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have been in small business for over 25 years. All I can say is that a low tax regime where the government does not take away from my cashflow would help me to hire new students and would help new entrepreneurs entering business. These people come with the vigour and the will to work hard in order to make our economy a success.

What I would like to know from the member opposite is what kind of business is he looking at? My business requires research, innovation and commercialization. These are the permanent jobs that we need to meet the economy of the 21st century and the need for green technology, and that would build our new economy for the future.

Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, does the member actually think it is fair and just to have tax measures in the budget that would not benefit low-income Canadians?

Does he think it is tenable, in any way, that low-income volunteer firefighters, that low-income families with children, and that caregivers from low-income families would not benefit from these measures? If he believes it is unfair, will he work to change that and to ensure that these measures are made refundable and as such, would benefit low-income Canadian families who need them the most?

Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

Chungsen Leung Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I know the member's riding quite well, as my wife is from the same riding. She lived in Kentville.

I must say that in that riding a lot of wineries are being established. Let me tell the member that if he were to speak with those people, all of them would tell him that the low tax jurisdiction is the best way to create jobs and hire people to work in those wineries.

Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, while the opposition not only continues to filibuster priorities to grow our Canadian economy, when it comes to private members' bills and the opposition's priorities, the member for Windsor West introduced a bill about labelling for cat fur in products.

I know the government's priorities. I wonder if the member can comment on the difference between the priorities that we have of growing this economy through lower taxes and other initiatives and the priorities, like labelling products that contain cat fur, from the New Democrats. Would he speak to those priorities?

Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Chungsen Leung Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, regarding those priorities, I think they are best left to businesspeople. I am sure that business would find the best strategy.

Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today and speak to the third reading of Bill C-13. This is not the first time I have encountered Bill C-13. In the Standing Committee on Finance we reviewed it reasonably thoroughly and I am critic for finance in the area of pensions, although I will speak in broader terms here today.

On this side of the House, we believe that Bill C-13 is a major missed opportunity. The obvious question that follows is: What would we do in the official opposition if we were making the same decisions that the government is facing at this point?

New Democrats have been proposing job creation types of proposals such as shelving the planned corporate tax cut for January 1, 2012. This would create $3 billion to $4 billion a year that could be used in job creation. We hear from the other side that somehow this would raise taxes. No, it would not. It would be a continuation of the tax that exists at the present time.

Next, we would have offered a new-hire tax credit for every new hire who stays in the job a full year. New Democrats would also help small businesses by providing a 2% tax cut for them, to encourage job creation. The previous speaker just talked about the environment needed for small business. Considering the dire warnings from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities for at least the last five years regarding the huge deficit of infrastructure needs in this country, we would put aside moneys and set forth a plan to address the $130 billion in infrastructure deficit.

It is very important to have long-range planning and that is what seems to be missing here today. New Democrats believe Canada should be in the lead in investing in green infrastructure and renewable energy, but we lag far behind the United States and other countries. The message from this side of the House is that it is time for the government to invest now.

Workers from the boomer generation are retiring. Canada has a zero birthrate. We must invest in skills training for current workers, for those workers who will replace the ones who retire and for the future needs of this country in leading-edge industries of tomorrow.

During our finance committee's recent pre-budget hearings for the 2012 budget, I stressed the following.

Canadians are too indebted to stimulate the economy. Business is holding on to some $500 billion in cash because of the fear of another freezing of bank lending as happened in the last recession. This leaves only the governments to stimulate our economy. The government should seriously consider the options put forward by New Democrats.

At our pre-budget hearings, Glen Hodgson, senior vice-president and chief economist of the Conference Board of Canada, at one of our public meetings, stated the following:

We believe we're severely under-invested as a country in infrastructure. We haven't done the numbers, but others have, including engineers and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and I think their number going back five years was of a deficit of about $130 billion in terms of infrastructure investment.

He went on to say:

That tells me there is huge scope for realigning government spending priorities and making sure we're making adequate investments in roads, ports, and bridges to ensure that the Montreal economy, for example, works well. Could you imagine if the Champlain Bridge actually broke...? That would be a huge loss to Montreal's GDP and to Canada's GDP.

Sylvain Schetagne, senior economist, social and economic policy department, Canadian Labour Congress, said:

Corporations benefit from the kind of infrastructure they have around them. So a bridge that is falling apart is not good.

That is an understatement. He further said:

Having enough workers who have skills and education needed in order to provide productive work is also needed.

That is in line with the suggestion that came from the New Democrats. He said:

There are other things we can do. For instance, in social infrastructure we are facing an aging workforce, and we would like to see more Canadians working... more women and more aboriginals working. There are programs such as child care that we can put in place to allow more women to go back to work, to improve labour force participation, and to make sure that companies have workers when they need them.

Glen Hodgson said:

As part of our globalization, sadly inequality is growing in most countries around the world and in Canada. The rate of growth of inequality, as we measured it, was actually greater than in the United States, which is a bit of a surprising result.

He closed his statement by saying:

We are asking questions about whether we're doing enough as a country to ensure that all Canadians are benefiting from the economic growth--

Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

2 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Barry Devolin

I regret to interrupt the hon. member at this time. He will have 15 minutes remaining in his speech when the House returns to this matter.

Saint Boniface Overseas Workers
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Shelly Glover Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honour some exceptional constituents from my riding of Saint Boniface who will soon be embarking on overseas mission work.

Judy Holukoff, Dave Fidler and Scott Hildebrand have all chosen to leave the comforts of home to bring hope to people in need.

Judy will be working in Southeast Asia from November 25 to December 9. She is travelling with a team of women from a denomination of churches called the Christian and Missionary Alliance. The team will work with exploited women rescued from prostitution to give them courage and skills for a better future.

Dave and Scott will travel this February to the earthquake-ravaged region of Haiti. They are part of a team of 10 from the Cornerstone Alliance Church. The team arranged their mission through an organization called Samaritan's Purse. They are excited to help rebuild an orphanage and hopefully have a chance to distribute toys to Haitian children.

I want to applaud these individuals, their families and everyone who has taken part in these initiatives. I thank them for doing their utmost to make this world a better place.

God bless them and bring them home safe and sound.

Justice
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Tyrone Benskin Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' irrational approach to crime is jeopardizing the good work done by community organizations throughout Quebec, and particularly in my riding of Jeanne-Le Ber. Quebec would rather focus on crime prevention than impose mandatory minimum sentences, especially for young people.

I would like to recognize the time-intensive work carried out by the many community groups in my riding. They are there for our youth to encourage and guide them toward better choices and away from organized crime and crime in general. The prevention approach is proven to have far better results than the blind punishment approach of the government.

Canadians want a system that prevents crimes before they happen by targeting the causes of these crimes instead of young people. We have a responsibility to ensure that our young people make the right choices.

We also have a responsibility to help them when they fall. This is what our community groups do 365 days a year, and for this they deserve not only our support, but our thanks.

Parliamentary Committee on Palliative and Compassionate Care
Statements By Members

November 21st, 2011 / 2 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak to the work of the Parliamentary Committee on Palliative and Compassionate Care. MPs from all parties in the House participated in building a report on how vulnerable Canadians can be better served. Focusing on suicide prevention, palliative care and elder abuse, the committee's report, entitled Not to be Forgotten, was launched last week here on Parliament Hill.

The report lights our path ahead so that all levels of government can identify gaps and act accordingly within the means available, moving us methodically forward toward improved care of vulnerable Canadians.

Not to be Forgotten was built on the experiences shared by Canadians in hearings across the country and on the advice of those groups struggling to serve our most vulnerable citizens. With every small step, we can make a real difference.

I thank the hundreds of Canadians who came forward to share their stories, often through great pain. Those stories and that pain will not be forgotten.

Riding of Cardigan, Prince Edward Island
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Cardigan, PE

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I stand in the House today. It was on this day 23 years ago that I was first elected to this great chamber. Over the past 23 years, we have worked with different federal and provincial governments and we have made many achievements in eastern Prince Edward Island.

I want to thank all the people of the Cardigan riding who have stood with me, from the people who have served at the constituency level to all the people who have voted for me and provided me with this great opportunity. It is truly an honour to represent the people of Cardigan in the House, and I look forward to many more years of working together to create a better standard of living for the people of eastern Prince Edward Island.

I would also like to thank all of the colleagues I have worked with over the years on all sides of the House. It has been an honour to work with them in the past and the present, and I look forward to working with them in the future.