Mr. Speaker, early this summer I was given the unpleasant news that I have cancer. It is the sort of news that thousands of Canadians, including many in this House, must grapple with all too often. Medically speaking, let us just say that I have had better summers.
Yet the summer also reconfirmed that when the going gets tough it is relationships that really matter.
My relationship to constituents, to friends and co-workers matter more than ever.
My relationship to God brings a peace that passes understanding.
My relationship to family, many of whom are here today, is always special, and this summer it has been especially sweet.
Many people have taken time to encourage us during the weeks since my diagnosis and I want to thank every one. My family and I treasure every word, we cherish every call and we covet every prayer. Truly, encouragement is one of the gifts of the spirit.
It is time now for all of us to get back to our nation's business and I have been looking forward to this for some time. The work here will always be important to me but those relationships that I talked of will be important forever.