Mr. Speaker, I do not think there was anything I said that denigrates the public service. In the years that we have been here, we have been great defenders of public service. However, when appointments are made that bring up questions and lead the public to ask if the appointment was made because the person was involved with the party in question rather than because of the wealth of experience the person might have from their career, as soon as that decision is tainted, then effectively the trust in the political class is reduced.
I would suggest to the member across that he visit the hall outside near the central foyer and look at the portraits of the two prime ministers mentioned earlier. He might hear the echoes. He had an option. He could have said, “I'm not going to do this. It is wrong for Canada, and I'm not going to ask Canadians to pay the price.” There was an option to say no, but he chose to say yes to the old attitudes and old stories. That, if I may say so respectfully, is not good enough for Canadians.
If he heeds those words of one of the past leaders of his party, he may stick around long enough to see the portrait of his leader on the wall in 2016 and continue to keep the NDP government to task in his capacity as one of the leaders of the official opposition. If not, he will become one of the forgotten—