Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my hon. colleagues in the Progressive Conservative caucus, I want to welcome the new leader of the New Democratic Party, Mr. Layton, to federal politics.
He of course started his political life in the Progressive Conservative family, as did the leader of the Canadian Alliance, most of the members of the Bloc Québécois, too many stray members of the Liberal Party to mention, and Mr. Layton's distinguished competitor, the member for Winnipeg--Transcona.
As a parliamentarian who also knows the rigours of party elections, let me also commend the contribution to Canada of the member for Winnipeg--Transcona, for whom the immense respect of the House is undiminished.
I want also to congratulate the member for Regina--Qu'Appelle and the member for Windsor--St. Clair.
Jack Layton brings an image of energy and imagination to Canadian public life. He has had entrusted to him the stewardship of a political party which has helped shape and define the Canadian community. He made his mark in municipal politics, which is not always the same as the federal arena. When he needs help in learning how to adapt, my large caucus is full of people who have experience in that transition.
As others in the House will attest, Jack Layton's easiest days as leader of his party are behind him. We look forward to seeing him when he gets here, if he gets here, and we wish him success but not too much success.