Mr. Speaker, I seek the indulgence of the House to provide a brief explanation of the resignation today of the member for Port Moody—Coquitlam and pay tribute to her dedication to the House, to her constituents and her family.
Members will know that the member for Port Moody—Coquitlam was a tireless advocate for and defender of the Canadian family both within our caucus and without.
In the House and in committee, Sharon Hayes was a tireless advocate for tax relief for families, protection for the unborn and the elderly, protection of the family from violence and state interference.
In all her work she was supported by her own family, her two daughters and her devoted husband Doug. However, in April of this year just before the federal election was called, tragedy struck her family. Her husband Doug, an insurance industry executive, suffered a heart attack followed by a number of serious complications which affected his eyesight and other faculties. These complications have not gone away. They have in fact increased Doug's dependence on his family's care and support.
For five months through the election campaign, through the summer and the opening of Parliament, Sharon valiantly struggled to perform two duties, to her constituents and to the House, and her duty to her husband who needs her more than he has ever needed her before.
Like many of us when we are confronted with two hard choices or options, she attempted for a while to pursue both. Just this week she decided that a real choice had to be made and, consistent with her attachment to the supreme value of the family, she has chosen to devote all her time to Doug's support and recovery.
I want to thank the people of Port Moody—Coquitlam for their understanding of Sharon's dilemma over these past five to six months. We assure them that other members of Parliament are more than willing to help represent them until a successor for Sharon is chosen.
Today I want to pay tribute to Sharon Hayes, who is now demonstrating her commitment to family in the most profound way possible. Our prayers and best wishes are with both Sharon and Doug.