Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the official opposition, I also wish to congratulate Jack Layton on his successful election Saturday as the new leader of the New Democratic Party. I managed to catch the announcement of the first ballot on television with my wife and saw that he received 31,149.9502 votes. I am really interested to know how he missed out on someone's .0498 of the vote, but maybe we can talk about that later.
While I hesitate to actually wish him good luck, I believe that I speak for all of us in the House in saying that we look forward to his active involvement in federal politics and presumably in the House itself.
Jack Layton has dedicated more than two decades of his life to public service. He has earned a reputation as a passionate advocate of social justice with a great love for the country.
While we will probably rarely agree with most of his ideas, the Alliance looks forward to his contribution to a positive public policy debate.
On a personal note, if the last year has taught me anything, it is that leadership and politics are very much a family affair. Therefore I wish to extend my congratulation and welcome to Jack, to Jack's partner Olivia Chow and to their daughter Sarah and son Mike.