House of Commons Hansard #148 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

International Women's Day
Oral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

International Women's Day
Oral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

International Women's Day
Oral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

International Women's Day
Oral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

(Motion agreed to)

International Women's Day
Oral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I stand to ask for unanimous consent that Bill C-624, the Nortel bill, be deemed read, debated and passed at all stages.

International Women's Day
Oral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Does the hon. member for Cape Breton—Canso have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?

International Women's Day
Oral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

International Women's Day
Oral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I understand there is an agreement to grant two minutes each to members who have indicated that they will not be seeking re-election.

I will recognize members in order of seniority.

The hon. member for Mississauga East—Cooksville.

Resignation of Members
Oral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Albina Guarnieri Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Mr. Speaker, after 22 years, thank you for allowing me to take but a few moments to thank all members of this House, past and present, who have stood tall in their efforts to help a short person.

When I arrived here in 1988, I found an inspiring place where partisan rancour might boil in this chamber but the collegial spirit filled the halls.

I recall asking rather pointed questions of a minister, Perrin Beatty, then walking back to our offices in the West Block together talking about the issues of the day, family and life. It was rather like the old Warner Bros. cartoons with the wolf and the sheepdog, but I am not sure which of us was the sheepdog.

However, I have tried to maintain that view of this place ever since, and found many friends among the many parties.

I think most every one of us comes here with the willingness to raise the potential of Parliament to change the lives of people. I look back on my years here and just about every fond memory comes from the many occasions when members from all parties banded together to support a cause or a bill. Sound and fury often drowns the more tender tones of consensus that I have been privileged to experience over the years.

I remember being in Holland and witnessing the emotional connection that all four party leaders had for our veterans and their determination to make a difference in their lives.

As I take my leave, I feel the need to thank three Prime Ministers: Paul Martin for a huge leap of faith in allowing me to join his cabinet; Jean Chrétien for giving me the experience of the 1992 constitutional committee and for not throwing me out of the party for my sometimes contrary voting record; and finally, our current Prime Minister for giving the families of murder victims a measure of justice and peace through consecutive sentencing.

From now on I would thank all hon. members in advance for looking straight into the camera so that I can watch with a keen eye, miss everyone with a heavy heart and be thankful again for all the fond memories of my decades in this House.

Resignation of Members
Oral Questions

March 24th, 2011 / 3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Abbott Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak about the greatest job, the greatest people and the greatest country. Being a member of Parliament, we have access to decision-making and decision-makers, national and international. The experience of being a member of Parliament is as big as this world.

I am thankful to our Prime Minister for my appointment to the Privy Council and for his confidence in me in the task that he had appointed to me.

I am thankful for the support and confidence of my constituents since 1993.

I am thankful for the support of my assistants here today in the chamber, Krissy and Chelsea Côté. Believe it or not, Krissy has been with me all 17.5 years. I am thankful to my assistant in my Cranbrook office, Wendy Kemble. I am particularly thankful to Ken Miller, who got me into this in 1991 and is still with me today as our electoral district president.

I am thankful for the support of my friends in the party, the people who put up the signs in the snowbanks and do the phoning. I would not be so proud as to think that they just support me. They support principle, political principle, and I thank them for that.

Most important, I am thankful to my family, to my wife Jeannette, three children, their spouses and seven grandchildren.

Above all, I am thankful to God for supporting me every day in every way during this period. My faith in Christ is my enduring pillar.

Resignation of Members
Oral Questions

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

John Cummins Delta—Richmond East, BC

Mr. Speaker, it has been an honour and a privilege to serve in this place. One does not get here on one's own merit. If that were the case, I would not be here. We get here because some folks have confidence that we will represent their best interests.

I would like to thank them.

First, I would like to thank Preston Manning who provided the inspiration for me to seek elected office in 1988 as a Reformer; Dr. Pat Pettman and others who encouraged me to run again in 1993; Alex Soroka who managed so many of my campaigns, and Eric Sykes and Jim Northey who did the same; the good people of Delta and Richmond who have supported me all these years; but mostly, my wife Sue who has been steadfast in her support, my daughter Carolyn who was just two when I was elected, my older daughters Erin and Kristy, and my son Martin and the grandkids.

Success in this place depends on good staff and I have been fortunate in that regard. Brian Derrah, friend, lawyer, researcher extraordinaire, has served me well for over 17 years on the Hill, as well as Michelle Cormier, Gail Galloway and Kelly Williams. Most important, Karen Siefken and Karen Wilson have served my constituents with devotion in the Ladner office. They were indispensable. I thank them and others, including collaborators Phil Eidsvik and Dennis Brown.

I thank the staff on Parliament Hill for their kindness, concern and dedication to duty, especially the folks at the Library of Parliament whose solid research can make us look awfully good.

I thank the good people at Air Canada who have done their best to make an onerous travel schedule doable and the staff at the Ottawa Marriott, my home for close to 15 years. Last but not least, I thank my colleagues and the Prime Minister for his outstanding leadership.

Not long after I was elected, I had a significant decision to make and I looked to the hon. Ron Huntington, a former member of this place, for counsel. His advice was to choose not just what served my purposes that day but to choose what I would be comfortable with when I left this place. I have followed that advice.

My hope when first elected was that when my time here was done the folks at home would say, “He kept his word. He represented us well”. That remains my fondest hope.

Resignation of Members
Oral Questions

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, 17.5 years can certainly fly by in the blink of an eye. Fewer than 1 in 100,000 Canadians has the privilege and honour of standing in this House to represent the hopes, wills and aspirations of our citizens. We are all blessed to have that opportunity.

I have seen much in the last 17.5 years and I will miss much from this House.

I want to first thank each and every member. I have had the privilege of being a member of a two political parties. Some members have been colleagues on that side and on this side sit in this House today. Sometimes our profession gets besmirched but, as all of us here know, everyone in this House works doggedly hard in the interests of our citizens and in the interests of our country. We may have differences, and vital differences of what those differences may be, but all of us, to a person, to a man and to a woman, give our heart, our soul and put our life into this House and into our country for the future of our country.

I hope that at the end of the day we can work together. We have differences and we must have those knock-down, drag-out battles. Those battles must occur, but I hope that the serious and vital issues of our country will be dealt with, not only for the interests of our citizens here at home, but also for what happens half a world away. We know that like a pebble in a pond, what happens in our country is like a ripple that goes beyond our borders. Our borders are porous. What happens far away affects us here at home. Of all the things we are most privileged to have a chance at is to reach out and help in those in our country and in our world.

I want to thank each and every member for being a colleague.

Last, I want to thank my parents, Colleen and Cyril; my four brothers, Neil, Andrew, Paul and Darryll and their families; and my partner Gina who is here today. Without their endearing support and help, we could not do what we do.

I wish all my colleagues the very best of luck in the future. I know they will all do great things. I am thankful for their camaraderie and collegiality. Carpe diem.

Resignation of Members
Oral Questions

3:25 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, it has been written that to everything there is a season. In my political career, everything came together some 17 years ago when I was first elected to the House of Commons. While I can assure members of my good health and although I still feel honoured and privileged to be a member of Parliament, I have decided I will not seek re-election when Canada next goes to the polls.

I was 36 years old when this adventure started, and all four of our children were still at home. Now they are all grown up, married, and Deb and I have 10 grandchildren. I vowed I would leave politics one day with the one thing that mattered most when I entered into it: the love and respect of those closest to me. It is thanks mostly to my wife, Deb, who is the anchor and love of my life, that this will happen. It is my life's greatest achievement.

I was elected first as a Reformer and quickly learned that listening to and serving the public had its own unique rewards. My constituents are passionate about their issues and politics and working with them has been an ongoing inspiration and motivation. They are wonderful, commonsense people and I will forever be grateful for their encouragement and support.

One of the best parts of political life is the friends we make along the way. A whole new world of people we would never have met otherwise have become near and dear to us. Not just political partisans either, but interesting, thought-provoking folks from all kinds of backgrounds, religions and regions. Like the rock solid friends we have always had in our home town, these new friends have become an integral part of our lives. We are richer and better people for their loyal companionship.

Of course serving in cabinet has been an exceptional experience. I will always be grateful to the Prime Minister who went out of his way to assure me that he not only wanted me to be a minister, but he was confident I could do the job. He appointed me right on the heels of my serious encounter with cancer, and his encouragement to me at the time was, “Don't let people tell you that you can't still contribute – don’t let them push you aside”. Cancer survivors need to hear words like that and they need to know in their heart that they are true. I thank the Prime Minister for those words. My health has been good ever since.

Throughout it all, my staff have been exceptional. The workload, the high expectations and public pressure on these people is enormous, but they have consistently risen to the occasion and they have all served Canada with distinction. Any good reputation I may have garnered over the years is due in large part to their efforts. The same can be said for so many of the professional civil servants I have worked with in three separate ministries, and the Clerk and her staff are on that list as well. Our country is fortunate to have these people toiling on our behalf.

In all ways, large and small, my experiences these past 17 years have reinforced the conviction that Canada is one of the most blessed countries in the world. Full of abundant natural resources and a generous, stoic people, consistently peaceful and generally prosperous, we are among history's most fortunate. What a great country.

One day, and perhaps soon, I will leave this place and my role here behind. I will leave with mixed feelings, because I love serving our country and its people. But for everything there is a season, and I am convinced this is the right time for me and Deb to seek out the next, wonderful purpose that God has in mind for us.

I thank one and all for the honour and privilege of serving together in the common service of our constituents and country.

Resignation of Members
Oral Questions

3:25 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, thank you for your services and your patience with us, and especially, sometimes, with me.

I thank our colleagues also for allowing us this time. I thank colleagues from all parties who have shown me many times, in an undeserved way, measures of respect, which I will always appreciate and value. Often we do not get, maybe with some good reason, certain levels of respect beyond these doors, but I can say of my colleagues, all of whom I have met and worked with, that famous Latin phrase certainly applies: Desiderantes Meliorem Patriam, “They desire a better country”. I can say that of the people with whom I have served.

I also have to reflect in a primary way and say that I thank God. I thank God that I can stand here and thank God and that I do not fear the fate of a dear colleague of ours only weeks ago, Shahbaz Bhatti, who for that crime paid the ultimate price. I thank God that we are an assembly where people can stand and say that they do not believe in God, that they can share equal ground in this place and that others beyond this place, who write and comment, can even ridicule either of those two positions and also not worry about that fate. Our forefathers paid a great price for that freedom.

I, too, thank my constituents. Responsibility and representation for one's constituents is truly the highest order of democracy. Recognizing that and recognizing the vote is a sacred trust is something that guides us all and must continue to do so. When I think about how we sometimes conduct ourselves here, myself included, I wonder, is this why my constituents sent me here. That elderly gentlemen whom I talked to in the voting line in one election said, “This is the only chance I get to have my say”. I thank those constituents for the times that we have been able to do that and to represent them.

I thank the people who have worked for me and volunteered, and also different staff through the years, for the way they have been able to put up with me, the way they have helped me in my times of failing. On the few times I have had successes, they have been the ones who have literally got the puck to me so occasionally I have been able to put it in the net. I thank them.

I thank the people who serve in this place, who clean this large building, who take care of our security, who do all the things that we do not have time to do to make this place look presentable and represent the democracy for which it stands.

I thank the Prime Minister because of his respect for democracy. It is somewhat sad that people do not get to see how, in our places of discussion, we are able, as individual MPs, to bring forward the views of our constituents to argue and even to change his mind on issues when it comes to matters of importance to our constituents.

Last, Mr. Speaker, and I see you leaning forward and I know it is not to burst out in applause, I want to thank my family. My sons were younger when my wife and I first made the decision to go into provincial politics, recognizing that at the federal level we would not have wanted to leave them for long periods of time. It would have been a disaster in the house if we had not been there. Despite the fact that we were close during those years geographically, there were still times I had to apologize. Now that we are blessed with many grandchildren, I do not want to start another cycle of apologies. I have that in consideration.

My wife is here today so I have to be on my best behaviour, as I tried to be during question period. I have said many times that I might not have the perfect marriage, but I do have the perfect wife. Any deficiencies in the relationship are mine and the perfections are hers. She is president of the National Parliamentary Spouses Association. She shares a title of president with me. I can honestly say she is more popular among members here than I am. It was a former head of state of the nation of Israel who said of a good woman “her children rise up to call her blessed and her husband rises and praises her”, and I praise her this afternoon.

I close thinking of the words of my father, who passed away not that long ago. When we would go camping with him as kids and it would come time to tidy up as we packed up the tent, we would pick up all our stuff. However, there were times when he would tell us that there was some paper over there in the bush or there was an empty can over there by that tree and we would tell him that we had not put it there. He would remind us by saying, “Always leave the campground in a little better shape than when you found it”. I hope I have been able to do that.

Resignation of Members
Oral Questions

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, and colleagues in the House of Commons, I was elected to the House in November 2000 and have had the pleasure and honour of representing the riding of Charlottetown during the past four Parliaments. This has been a tremendous honour for me and one for which I will be forever grateful to the voters who live in that great and historic city of Charlottetown.

I have decided that I will not be a candidate in the next general election and, like the speakers who spoke before me, it is with mixed emotions that I address the House today, which will likely be my very last time.

I look back on the last ten and a half years with many fond memories, dealing with great people and, most important, having the opportunity to debate and decide upon some of the issues, great issues, that affect our country. There are many who helped me greatly along the way.

First are my parents, the late Bill Murphy and Kathleen Murphy. Unfortunately, my father died prior to me being elected to Parliament. I am sure if he had lived longer, he would have enjoyed watching the many debates that took place in the House.

My wife, Yvette, has been so tremendously supportive over all these years. When I first was elected to Parliament, Yvette really did not follow politics all that closely. Now she is a political junkie. I am sure there has to be some de-programming sessions available out there for people like her and me, and we will both sign on, but not until June of this year.

Our children, who were students when I first was elected and who are now adults, Kevin, Paul and Brian, have always been at my side with their support when that support was needed.

I have hundreds and hundreds of volunteers in the riding of Charlottetown who helped me out during and between campaigns. I am not going to name them, but I want to thank each and every one of them.

To be an efficient, effective and productive member of Parliament, it really comes down to staff. I have been truly blessed with tremendous staff members who came to the job with the goal of serving the people of Charlottetown.

I will mention Corinne Reid who, after working with me for many years in a local law firm, joined me for the last ten and a half years in the constituency office; Barry MacMillan, who taught me the role of a politician as opposed to the role of the public servant; Mary Gillis, my administrative assistant, who has worked here for the past eight years and has done a tremendous job; and Lisa Callaghan, Michael Currie and the many others who have worked for me over the years and have all remained my close friends. I want to thank them. They have each contributed so much.

I want to thank all the clerks, analysts and other individuals who work for Parliament, some of whom are here today, and you, Mr. Speaker and your staff.

Finally, I want to thank my colleagues here today, from this Parliament, the 40th Parliament and the previous three Parliaments, from all parties. I want to thank them for all their guidance, their support, the many words and acts of kindness and the encouragement they have shown me over the past ten and a half years. Most important, I want to thank them for their friendship. I will miss this place. I will miss each and every one of them.