Madam Speaker, I was taken aback a bit by my hon. colleague along the way in that he made quite a succinct speech on an important piece of legislation. Obviously there is a need to adjourn the House for the weekend or something. I am not sure exactly what is happening here.
At the outset of my remarks this afternoon on Bill S-2, the marine liability act. and because I only had 10 minutes to reply to the Speech from the Throne, I will begin by congratulating you, Madam Speaker, on your appointment to the chair; the Speaker on his election; and your colleagues who occupy the chair from time to time. I know it is not an easy task riding herd on this place. I not only congratulate you but will endeavour to support you in as non-partisan a way as possible from time to time when you are called upon to make a tough ruling.
I also wish to thank my supporters as I did in quite a succinct manner during my brief remarks in reply to the throne speech a couple of weeks ago. As all of us know, regardless of what party we represent in the House of Commons, we would not be here without the support, hard work and monetary donations of many individuals back in our respective ridings from coast to coast to coast. In light of that, I assure the people who supported me back home that I indeed greatly appreciate their support.
I have been very fortunate. I have run in four election campaigns dating back to 1988 when I was unsuccessful. People who supported the Reform Party of Canada's principles and policies at the time stepped forward to work hard on the party's behalf and ultimately on my behalf when I became the candidate, which saw me elected with about 56% of the vote. I believe that increased to 66% in 1997 and almost 70% in the latest election in November 2000.
I am always quick to point out that I do not take it as a great affirmation that I am doing such a terrific job that 70% of the people who show up at the polls would mark their ballots for me. I take it as 70% of the people who were looking at the alternatives on election day decided to support in this case the Canadian Alliance's principles and policies first and foremost. They obviously decided to support the leadership of our present leader. The reason I would get those types of numbers is primarily the support and the word of mouth translated throughout the riding of Prince George—Peace River by the people as much as by me.
I thank each and every one. I obviously would not have time to record the hundreds of people who are members of the Canadian Alliance in Prince George—Peace River and all the people who gave so willingly hours of their time to volunteer to make my re-election campaign ultimately successful.