Mr. Speaker, as you know, I have decided not to run in the next election and my replacement, Earl Dreeshen, has been chosen to run for the Conservative Party.
I want to take this opportunity to thank all the constituents of my riding of Red Deer who have, at each election, given me an increased mandate for each of five elections. At close to 80% of the vote, I guess I was afraid to try it one more time.
For the past 15 years, my constituents have treated Nicole and me with unbelievable courtesy and respect and have thanked us profusely for our service. These thanks are what kept both of us going over the years.
I will always remember my first question when I stood as foreign affairs critic for the Reform Party and how André Ouellet was so kind to me.
I will remember the stained glass windows and the feeling of honour in representing my constituents in this place.
I will remember the Monday to Thursday speech on Kyoto when I tried to tell the Liberal government and Canadians how hard it would be to hit the targets by 2012 and how we needed to start now.
I will remember the scrums, news conferences and interviews with people like Don Newman, Mike Duffy and Julie Van Dusen. Honestly, they treated me fairly. Not many politicians can say that.
I want to thank my staff in Ottawa and in Red Deer, especially Louise, who has been with my for 15 years. I also want to thank my constituents, Albertans and Canadians.