Mr. Speaker, I would first like to congratulate everyone who was re-elected and welcome all new members. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my constituents in Brandon—Souris for their unfailing support.
I am honoured to be considered for the very important role of Speaker of the House.
Like many of you, I have served at the municipal, provincial and federal levels of government, serving in many roles, including deputy reeve, minister of industry, trade and tourism and chair of the very productive transport, infrastructure and communities committee. In over 17 years of political life, I have experienced the highs and lows of forming a government and forming an opposition, which gives me a unique perspective and an understanding of the balance a Speaker must preserve in a progressive chamber. These insights and experiences on both sides of the House have taught me the benefits of working with all parties in a constructive manner, and as your Speaker I will continue to do so.
Colleagues, over the last several years, we have experienced a severe decline in decorum in this wonderful chamber, and I believe I have a plan to correct this unfortunate situation.
As your Speaker, I would immediately meet with all House leaders and we would agree on a go-forward plan, re-establishing the current rules and enforcing them without fear or favour.
I believe the Speaker of the House has a crucial role to play in preserving decorum in this House.
However, a Speaker cannot do this alone. Above all other reasons, the pursuit of the position is to ensure that our Canadian democracy is delivered in a productive and respectful way. I have always tried to treat all members with respect and I believe that if you asked those who have worked with me were asked, they would say the same.
As Speaker, I will commit to all members of this chamber to be accessible to members at all times.
As Speaker, I will serve as every member's Speaker, regardless of their party colours, and I promise to be accessible to each and every one of you.
I have experience from years of public service, I have demonstrated a non-partisan demeanour throughout my career and I will fully commit every hour of my day to this important position. I will work to restore decorum in the House while treating all with respect.
Today, we, as members of Parliament, have an opportunity to prove to Canadians that the 40th sitting of the Parliament of Canada will be one where very much needed decorum and respect are once again the order of the day.
By electing me as your Speaker, you will provide me with the confidence and direction to conduct the orders of the House according to time tested rules. I have been serving Canadians with respect and dignity for the better part of my adult life and I will continue this ethic should my name be the final one chosen today.
I humbly submit my name for your consideration.