Mr. Speaker, I stand today to pay tribute to my family.
In 1992 when I approached my wife and children with the crazy idea of running as a member of Parliament, they supported me. We tried to understand what we were getting into and did the best research we could, but honestly, we did not appreciate the total all-consuming nature of the job.
Recognition, familiarity and approachability with voters are traits and characteristics after which every MP strives. However, that approachability means that being an MP is not just a job, it is a 24/7 life. Birthday celebrations, family picnics or camping, even graduation events regrettably could end up in conflict with constituency events. This is particularly true in a large geographic area like Kootenay--Columbia.
In 18 years, my immediate family has grown from 5 special people to 14, including 7 wonderful grandchildren. They have always been supportive. I could not have gotten the job done without them. They are all in Ottawa with me today. I say to them, and especially my wife, thank you, I love you.