House of Commons Hansard #227 of the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was years.


Heritage Lighthouse Protection ActPrivate Members' Business

6:05 p.m.


The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Heritage Lighthouse Protection ActPrivate Members' Business

6:05 p.m.

Some hon. members


Heritage Lighthouse Protection ActPrivate Members' Business

6:05 p.m.


The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

All those opposed will please say nay.

Heritage Lighthouse Protection ActPrivate Members' Business

6:05 p.m.

Some hon. members


Heritage Lighthouse Protection ActPrivate Members' Business

6:05 p.m.


The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And five or more members having risen:

Pursuant to Standing Order 93, the recorded division stands deferred until Wednesday, June 10, 2015, immediately before the time provided for private members' business.

Pursuant to order made on Wednesday, May 27, the House shall now resolve itself into committee of the whole to consider Motion No. 21 under Government Business.

I do now leave the chair for the House to go into committee of the whole.

(House in committee of the whole on Government Business No. 21, Mr. Bruce Stanton in the chair)

Members not seeking re-election to the 42nd ParliamentGovernment Orders

6:10 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario


Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons


That this committee take note of members not seeking re-election to the 42nd Parliament.

Members not seeking re-election to the 42nd ParliamentGovernment Orders

6:10 p.m.


The Assistant Deputy Chair Conservative Bruce Stanton

Order, please. Before we begin this evening's debate, I would like to remind hon. members of how the proceedings will unfold.

Pursuant to order made on Wednesday, May 27, 2015, each member speaking will be allotted 10 minutes for debate. No time will be allotted for questions and comments, and members may share their time with another member. The Chair will receive no quorum calls, dilatory motions or requests for unanimous consent.

The order also prescribes that tonight's debate will be interrupted after four hours or when no member rises to speak. The debate shall resume at the ordinary hour of daily adjournment on Wednesday, June 10, 2015, and will conclude at midnight or when no other member rises to speak.

Just another reminder to all hon. members. In the course of take note debates, members are welcome and will be recognized from the seat in the chamber they choose.

We will now begin tonight's take note debate.

Members not seeking re-election to the 42nd ParliamentGovernment Orders

6:10 p.m.


Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Chair, there are days in this chamber that feel like seven years, but as my seven years as the member of Parliament for Guelph draw to a close, I feel as though it were only days that I was here. Saying goodbye today seems as unlikely to me as having ever arrived in this place.

I never planned on running for federal office and even tried, unsuccessfully, to find someone else to run instead. When I was approached in 2006, I had a young family, and representing Guelph here in Ottawa was not even on the horizon. However, my father, Mico, a Rotarian, instilled in me at a very young age the importance of service to others, even before self. I could not say no to serving my community, and what a community.

Guelph is recognized throughout the country over as being one of the most informed, caring, and compassionate in Canada. It is a leader in research and innovation through the University of Guelph. It is home to many of Ontario's premier agricultural and agrifood institutions, and has the highest rates of volunteerism from coast to coast to coast.

I remain imbued with the passion and desire to continue to be the voice of the people of Guelph here in Ottawa and to serve them with as much energy as my staff and I have been able to offer. However, that young family from seven years ago is still young and I am not. I need to spend what time I can with my daughter, Olivia, and son, Dominic. It is just as important to them and to me that I be there for their millionth steps as I was for their first ones. Indeed, it is more important. At this precious stage in their lives, I want to be a more constant presence.

I will miss this job, though. I thought that I knew what it meant to have job satisfaction until I stepped into my constituency office. One can never beat the feeling of gratification from having a direct impact on someone's life, be it helping them gain freedom and security through entry into Canada on a permanent basis, or just reuniting a family for a visit who might otherwise never see each other again. Maybe it is arranging for a family member to come to Canada to help her sister care for a child stricken by cancer, or when a woman's dying wish is to become a Canadian citizen, arranging for a citizenship judge to oversee the administration of the oath over the phone, surrounded by her family at a hospice.

Sometimes people can feel powerless as they attempt to navigate the bureaucracy that goes along with claims for employment insurance, obtaining a pension, or receiving disability benefits or tax relief. Being there to guide their bureaucratic journey and bring about a resolution is so important.

I have had the chance to advance significant discussions, too, hosting town halls on important and, often to the chagrin of some of my staff, contentious issues like palliative care, physician-assisted suicide, genetically modified organisms, food safety, elder abuse, the environment, and suicide prevention. I have encouraged many in Guelph to get more engaged and share their opinions on the important issues of the day, regardless their position on the issue.

Incredible opportunities have been offered to me as a member of Parliament. I was able to spend time aboard HMCS St. John's, and at Canada Forces Base Wainwright in Alberta, where I integrated with the women and men of the Canadian Forces, watching up close the incredible work they do. I travelled to Rome with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and then again later with MPs from all parties for the elevation of Cardinal Collins, who was also born in Guelph.

Recently, as the veterans affairs critic, I had the opportunity to stand before Vimy Ridge and then listen to Canadian students recite In Flanders Fields mere feet from where John McCrae cobbled it amid the carnage at Essex Farm Cemetery. I was able to walk row on row through the poppies and consider the tremendous sacrifice of our brave men and women who accepted unlimited liability as they faced colossal odds in the service of Canada.

Along with the Prime Minister, the Minister of National Defence, the Minister of Veterans Affairs, and a delegation of MPs, I visited the Netherlands and spoke with Canadian veterans and Dutch citizens who had been at Wageningen 70 years ago when the Canadian Forces liberated the country. I walked in a parade 3,000 strong in complete silence in Groesbeek to a cemetery on the edge of town where thousands of Canadians are buried.

My party has given me the privilege of advocating on behalf of farmers and producers as critic for agriculture and agrifood, the automotive sector that is so vital to southwestern Ontario, co-chair of the non-partisan parliamentary committee on palliative and compassionate care, and most recently, veterans affairs critic and deputy whip.

I hope that my presence in this House has increased the level of debate as much in passion and substance as it may have in decibels. It was a privilege to be here during such emotional votes as the one on Canada's access to medicines regime, advanced so capably by the Grandmothers for Africa, or during the battle for the Canadian Wheat Board and supply management.

I have learned and grown with each posting, but never have I been more able to empathize with anyone as I have Canada's veterans. The absolute misery I have seen, particularly of those suffering from PTSD, and their caregivers, is beyond comprehension but cannot be beyond our willingness or ability to help relieve.

If I can make one partisan entreaty, and it should not even be partisan, it is that we must do more for our veterans. We owe them a sacred obligation for their service and for their sacrifice. That obligation must be as much a legal one as it is a conceptual one. Words do not suffice anymore. It is not enough to say, “lest we forget” on November 11. These women and men and their families need and deserve real action.

I am proud that I will leave a legacy here having passed a piece of legislation in Bill C-247, an act that will ease the lives of countless Canadians when a loved one passes away. My bill, which will receive royal assent any day now, will make Service Canada the single point of contact with the federal government for notifications when someone passes away. Our hope is that a personal representative of a deceased will need to only tell the Canadian government once of the death of a person, setting in motion all the necessary disclosures with the government to effectively deal with the affairs of the deceased.

That an MP in the third party could pilot a piece of private members' business through the House and the Senate is no small feat. I owe my colleagues in every party a great deal of thanks for seeing the virtue of this piece of legislation and passing it almost unanimously.

I owe a great deal of thanks to Bryon Wilfert, who originally introduced the bill. It was also my privilege to work with the member for Portage—Lisgar in her role as the Minister of State for Social Development to further develop this bill. I thank her for her work in getting the bill through cabinet and the government caucus. That I can point to that law and demonstrate what we have accomplished here as a Parliament for the betterment of all Canadians fills me with pride.

If I can leave with one final thought, I ask that you take the initiative to make this place and our work here more family friendly. Countless Canadians have incredible contributions to make to this place and public discourse, but are rightly concerned about the strains that this place will put on them and their families.

This is a job that is never done. There are no weekends or evenings to retreat to for quality time with loved ones. My marriage was a victim of the toll this takes on a family and relationships with loved ones, and I am by no means alone.

We have an opportunity to consider new ideas, and I urge this chamber and the members returned here after October to do so. I urge them to consider new ideas like alternating sitting weeks so that two weeks are spent here and two weeks are spent back in the riding every month. It is a more efficient use of our time and that of our Ottawa staff, and enables a better routine with our families from whom we will not be separated for long periods of time. I and others felt the difference this last spring when there was a two weeks on and two weeks in the riding interval. It is a problem that must be tackled if we want to help serve Canadians better with members living healthier family lives.

Remote voting should also be considered. We no longer live in a time or place where communication is so difficult that we all must gather here to be heard. Let us modernize and take some of that burden off the families back home.

Finally, I want to thank my staff, without whom this work would not have been possible. Brenda, Lianne, Shanice who ran the Guelph constituency office, and Kim, Matt, Kyle, Ari, Liz, Jeff and Dan who worked in the Ottawa office, all did so with such professionalism and care. They were my front line, who received the concerns of Guelphites and worked tirelessly to make sure they were taken care of.

This has been an incredible opportunity, and I say goodbye knowing that I never had nor will I likely ever have again the opportunity to serve in such a privileged yet humbling, effective and rewarding calling as being the member of Parliament for Guelph, the most beautiful, caring and compassionate city in all of Canada. I will always be grateful.

Members not seeking re-election to the 42nd ParliamentGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.


Alex Atamanenko NDP British Columbia Southern Interior, BC

Mr. Chair, as always, when I get up here, there is a standing ovation.

This has been quite a journey, which started during the summer of 2003 while my wife Ann and I were driving across the Prairies. I remember it clearly. It was at dinner in Medicine Hat when I mentioned to Ann that I was thinking of seeking the NDP nomination in the 2004 election. I remember her response, “I think you are crazy, but I support you”. I believe she regrets those words to this day.

My next step was to check with my friends, Ed and Katrine Conroy. Ed was a former MLA and Katrine is currently our MLA. They said, “Go for it”.

My final blessing came from the president of our local riding association, Lily Popoff, who said, “Would you please run?” Although I lost in 2004, I was successful in 2006.

The privilege of serving as an MP has undoubtedly been the most enriching and rewarding experience of my life. I am extremely fortunate to have known our former leader, Jack Layton, and remember many interesting conversations we had over the years. We even went jogging together during one of my campaigns when he was in Castlegar with Olivia.

I would like to pay tribute to all of my NDP caucus colleagues, both past and present. A number of us remember the days when caucus meetings would take place around a table. I have never worked with such a dedicated and committed group of people. Many have been committed to social justice for decades. I wish all of those who are retiring this year the best of health and happiness as they adjust to what we call a normal life.

I must also admit that it has been and continues to be an honour for me to work with them. As members know, 2011 was a time of great change for our party.

I would like to thank all of my new colleagues, particularly my younger colleagues, for their passion and their commitment to building a better Canada.

My friends from Quebec, I really enjoyed the conversations we had at the parliamentary restaurant after the votes. I will truly miss you.

I would especially like to mention our leader. I really appreciate his leadership and especially the fact that he was always available to listen to me and to read the many articles I sent him over these past few years. I am very happy that he is here.

I also want to thank my MP colleagues from all parties who have treated me with respect over the years. I have had the pleasure of getting to know some of them a little more, for example, during trips with the agriculture committee and during my two trips abroad. We do not do enough of that, getting together and socializing with our colleagues.

I would also like to recognize the government front bench. There have been numerous occasions when I have approached ministers directly here in the House as a last resort on behalf of my constituents when all else had failed. They have been very gracious and respectful of my concerns and have taken the time to follow up with their officials. I thank them for this.

I have enjoyed working here in Parliament. There is a very high degree of professionalism everywhere we look. I would first like to thank our interpreters who are always here for us, not only in the House but at each committee and caucus meeting. They are very good at what they do. As a former interpreter, I understand the difficulty and complexity of their work and hope that all members assist them by giving them copies of their speeches well ahead of time.

I would like to wish all of the pages the best in their future endeavours. These dynamic and fluently bilingual university students are a pleasure to be with. I thank them for their service.

If I may use military terminology, I often liken our position as MPs to being on the front line. However, without our support staff, life here would be impossible. I thank all of the staff here in the House and all who make Parliament function smoothly, the clerks, researchers, recorders, postal workers, library staff, and all other support staff.

As you know, Mr. Chair, the work that you do here in the House is not easy, particularly when the debates get a bit heated. I would therefore like to sincerely thank you, your colleagues and the other speakers for your patience.

As a former schoolteacher, I know what life can be like when we are in front of an unruly class of energized students.

You are very understanding.

Also, in spite of the tragic incident last October, I have always felt safe working here on the Hill. The members of our security staff are very professional and truly amazing in how they are able to recognize each and every one of us by name. I thank them as well as the dedicated RCMP officers for their service.

I have a special place in my heart for all the staff upstairs in our parliamentary restaurant. I will truly miss not being able to go up to the sixth floor after votes and be greeted by what I call true professionals as I partake in the daily evening buffet with my Quebec colleagues. It has been a pleasure spending time in the restaurant with my server friends. I only wish they could be assured of full-time employment even when the House is not in session. It is not a very comfortable position to be in when they lose their job when the House rises. Would it be possible, for example, to keep this great restaurant open to staff and tourists in the summer? It could be a win-win situation. I ask the next government to take a serious look at this possibility.

I would also like to recognize the work of the staff in our whip's office and in our leader's office. They are extremely knowledgeable and professional. I really enjoyed working with them during my time here in Parliament. I hope that they will continue their work after the election, but that this time they will be working for the government.

I also want to thank all those who work in our cafeterias, particularly in the Confederation Building. It was very nice to see them every week.

I want to thank all of the support staff, those who keep our workplace clean and in good repair.

Finally, all of us are here because of the support we have received in our ridings. My sincere thanks go out to all members and supporters who have made it possible for me to have this honour. It is truly amazing to observe the behind-the-scenes work that goes on during election campaigns. It is quite a humbling experience to see the efforts that go on to elect us to office. Democracy is alive and well.

It has truly been an honour to serve all constituents of British Columbia Southern Interior, regardless of their political affiliation. In fact, after the election, I made it a point to forget who belongs to which party. I would like to single out my provincial and local government colleagues for all their co-operation as we have worked together for the benefit of our constituents. I have always attempted to consult them prior to advancing federal issues on their behalf, or sometimes even wading in on provincial and municipal issues. I wish them all the best as they continue to work on behalf of those they represent.

I would like to take this time to pay tribute to the former mayor of Osoyoos and MLA, John Slater. It was always a pleasure to work with him. He will be missed. May his soul rest in peace.

Sometimes people ask me how I put up with all the nonsense in the House. First, I say that just as in teaching high school, a good night's sleep and a sense of humour certainly help. However, most important of all it is all those committed people who are fighting for social justice right across the country. When I meet with them, it is as if I recharge my batteries. It has truly been an honour to represent their views in Parliament. I have met with citizens concerned about world peace, Canada's involvement in war, protection of the environment, food sovereignty, poverty, Canada Post, smart metres, women's rights, international development and many other issues. It is amazing to see how many people, both in my riding and across the country, are consistently engaged in working to improve the lives of others.

When I was the Agriculture critic for our party, I was in regular contact with many organizations representing farmers as well as those concerned about GMOs, horse slaughter, international trade and food sovereignty. It was always a pleasure to meet with their representatives and to listen to their concerns.

Finally, I would like to recognize my staff, those dynamic women who point me in the right direction and tell me what to say: Jennifer Ratz in Ottawa; Lilly Zekanovic in Oliver; and Margaret Tessman, Gina Petrakos, and Gail Hunnisett in Castlegar. Thanks to their dedication and persistent efforts, my office has been able to assist many constituents over the course of the past nine years. It will be sad not to be able to spend time with these dedicated individuals when I retire.

I would also like to thank others who have worked in my office since I was first elected in 2006. I wish them all the very best in their future endeavours.

A number of people have asked me what I plan to do when I retire. My answer is, nothing. It is my plan to spend time at home with my wife Ann, our two cats and hopefully a new dog. There is wood to chop, flowers to plant and music to play. I guess that is what retirement is all about.

I wish everyone here in Ottawa all the best.

I thank the people of British Columbia Southern Interior for having given me the honour to serve my country as their representative for the past nine years.

Members not seeking re-election to the 42nd ParliamentGovernment Orders

6:30 p.m.


Rick Norlock Conservative Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is a night for “thank yous”, so a lot of my dissertation tonight will be about the people I need to thank for allowing me to be here and for keeping me here.

First, I thank my Lord and Saviour for all the gifts that He has given me, the gifts of family and values.

Speaking of values, I want to thank my mom and dad, Dan and Bernadette Norlock for the values they instilled in me and my five siblings. They are sort of the beginning, and I wish to thank them.

My whole life I have been a person of public office. The first long-term job I had was with the Ontario Provincial Police. I can recall my coach officer telling me, when I thought there were some things that needed to dealt with in the Ontario Provincial Police, that I had to earn the right to have an opinion. I joined our bargaining unit and we got a lot of things done. That was some 40-plus years ago.

In 1999, and I forget the exact date, I came home from work and was taking off my boots at the door. My wife had warmed supper for the second time. The phone rang and a gentleman by the name of Bert Purvis was on the other end. He suggested that I put my name forward as a candidate with the Canadian Alliance, the political party of the day. I can remember putting my hand over the mouthpiece of the telephone, looking up at my wife, who was standing, warming supper, saying, “Can you imagine?”. My dear wife said, “Just say yes”. Therefore, it is her fault that I am here today.

We were not successful in the year 2000 and we chose not to run in 2004, However, a couple of people are responsible in a way. A lot of my electoral district association, being party president for many years, working with it, thought that this unworthy person should put his name forward. The member for Leeds—Grenville made that comment to me, subsequent to the 2004 election, I also had the benefit of knowing the member for Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, who also attended a fundraiser and was supportive. Of course Colin McSweeney gave me some great advice.

However, it is our electoral district association and volunteers who put their faith in us and who helped support us throughout the years during the elections.

I cannot forget, nor will I ever forget, the faith that the good citizens of Northumberland—Quinte West put in me in the 39th, 40th and this our 41st Parliament. My fellow citizens of Northumberland—Quinte West and me have done much together. I look across that great riding and I can see all the things this government, working with other levels of government, has been able to accomplish, and I am proud of that. I will be talking to the citizens of Northumberland—Quinte West, in a different venue, with regard to all that we have achieved together.

We cannot do this job without a team behind us. Throughout the nine-plus years that I have been here, we have had quite a number of staff. In the riding, most of the folks there have been with me for quite some time. With your indulgence, Mr. Speaker, I will mention their names because they are the reason why we kept getting elected: Barb Massey, who was there for us from the beginning; Catherine Cole; Stephanie Campbell; Rob Dodd; James Daniels; Sarah Honey; Erica Meekes; Jake Enright; Tom Rittwage, who is one of my trainers; Graham Howell and his wife Nubia; Mark Elton; and Sonia Garvey who was part of that training team; Daphne Gower; and Sally Harris.

I am sure I must have missed somebody and for that I apologize.

I am going to go out on a limb, and I am going to speak to my friends across the way, as well as myself. I can remember telling the member for Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock at a barbecue, that during a question period, I thought it was awful to heckle and that I would never do that. I have not been able to live up to his expectations, and for that I apologize to him.

Why do we not have the kind of respect in this place that we should have? It begins with us. We cannot expect others to respect us, unless we respect each other. Question period usually begins with the opposition asking, “Why are you the worst government that ever existed on this planet, on Earth, in this country?” We respond by saying, “We are the best government ever”.

That is where I have to congratulate our forefathers, other members of Parliament, and the rules and regulationd that govern our behaviour, like using the third person to tone things down. This place often, according to many people, does not run very well. It brings to my mind those words of Sir Winston Churchill when he said this about democracy, “it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried”.

I would have to say that about this place. We sometimes look rather slipshod and bad in other people's eyes. but the right thing gets done. Canadians are well served by this Parliament. In the end, Canadians always get the right kind of government, because we are in a democracy. There will be changes, and that is good. Change is good; change is healthy for democracy. I want to reiterate how privileged I have been to be here.

When we get near the end of our time here, we have to recognize, as the first member to speak night did, why we are leaving. One of the principle reasons is because of his family. He mentioned that we needed the support of our family. I would not be here without the support of my family, especially my wife who recognized in me something I did not recognize. She knows me better than I know me. I say this for all the husbands and other life partners. If they are smart, they will listen to their wives. In the end, they are right. She sure is.

I want to spend some time with my family. I have been working 40 years, much less than many business people out there and other folks. The reason I am leaving politics is it is time to spend a little time with my sons. The Liberal member of Parliament mentioned a private member's bill. It is true, not many people in our country get to have a private member's bill pass.

I have a passion, and it is hunting and fishing. My private member's bill, and I will always be able to look at it, is the National Hunting, Trapping and Fishing Heritage Day Act for Canada. I am going to enjoy those pursuits.

I thank the great citizens of Northumberland—Quinte West, once again, for putting their faith in me in three Parliaments. I thank my dear wife for putting up with me. I thank her for having me say yes. It has been an honour and a privilege to be in this place. As the late Mr. MacMillan, the town crier in Cobourg ended all of his cries, I will end my speech with, God bless the dominion of Canada and God bless our gracious Queen.

Members not seeking re-election to the 42nd ParliamentGovernment Orders

6:40 p.m.


Barry Devolin Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Mr. Chair, I am thankful for the opportunity to rise tonight and talk for a few minutes to my colleagues. As is so often the case when there is an important occasion before us, the first question is, “I wonder what I should wear”. This afternoon, as I was making the decision between a regular suit, which all of the other members in this place are wearing this evening, or my Speaker attire, I decided that I would at least bend the rules, if not break them, by speaking in the chamber dressed like this.

I have had the privilege to serve here for 11 years. When I started, I said to people that I thought ten years was going to be enough, and I was right. About two years ago, I started thinking about other things that I want to do in my life.

I served my first four years here as a regular member of Parliament. I sat on committees, I was a critic when we were in opposition, and I chaired the aboriginal affairs committee at one time, but I have served as one of the chair occupants for the past seven years. None of my colleagues in this place who arrived either in 2008 or 2011 have ever seen me in any role other than sitting in the chair in the place of the Speaker and playing referee, rather than combatant in the debate that takes place here.

I remember that when I became a chair occupant, one of my colleagues asked me why on earth I would want that job. He said, “it is like fighting to get to the NHL and then agreeing to be one of the referees”. I guess that there is some truth to that, but I also think that sitting in that chair takes a particular temperament and it is an important role that this place would not function without. It has been an honour to serve there, both under the hon. Peter Milliken, who was the former speaker, and the current Speaker, the hon. member for Regina—Qu'Appelle.

Like my colleagues from Guelph, British Columbia Southern Interior, and Northumberland—Quinte West, who went before me, I would like to spend a significant amount of my time thanking people.

As it has been said, we all stand here on the basis of the team that we have. I can remember the day, back in the fall of 2003, driving in my car and listening to the radio when the announcement was made that the current Attorney General and the current Prime Minister, as leaders of the Progressive Conservative Party and the Canadian Alliance, had agreed to a potential merger and that there was going to be a new Conservative Party. I can remember thinking that Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, which is my home, was one of those ridings that had had a split vote for several campaigns. In the last election before 2004, in 2000, those two parties together received 61% of the vote, so there was a sense that with a united Conservative Party there would be an opportunity to elect a member. I was the fifth person to put their name forward to run for the nomination. I absolutely was not the favourite at that time, but I worked hard through that process and was delighted when I was nominated later that fall.

I start there because I want to talk about my staff. I never say the people who worked for me, but they have worked with me for the past several years. I began with Peter Taylor, who is back in Lindsay. Peter helped me in my nomination campaign, the general campaign, and subsequently worked in my office for about eight years. He is still available to us. When someone is sick or if we need an extra body, he can come in and fill in. Peter is a friend and did a great job in helping me to do my job as the member of Parliament for Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock.

Lisa Rodd is another woman who worked in my constituency office. Lisa also started with me back in 2004, and about three years ago, she left to become a consultant. She is still working with some of the same files, but working from home, where she can spend more time with her family.

Connie Pearsall has been running my Ottawa office since 2006. Many members in this place have two staff members in Ottawa. I run with one staff member, so Connie's job description has several bullets, with the bottom being “various duties as assigned”, which essentially means that anything that needs to get done, she does. I appreciate what she has done for and with me for the last nine years.

In my constituency office in Lindsay, Marnie Hoppenrath has been with me for about six or seven years. She previously worked in a provincial office and has a lot of experience. Kate Porter has also been in my Lindsay office for about five years. As we all know, if we have good front-line staff when someone walks through the door of our constituency office, if the people they meet are friendly and competent and, most important, empathetic, that really gets a relationship off on the right foot.

Like most MPs, I go home on the weekend and someone will come up and shake my hand and say, “Oh, thanks very much for that thing you did for me”. I kind of scramble a little bit and say, “Oh you're very welcome, I was pleased that we could be of service”, when sometimes I am not really sure what the person is talking about because it is actually my staff who have resolved the individual's issue.

Brenda Hymus is another woman who has worked in my office for several years. She is semi-retired and she fills in, in many ways. Andrea Coombs is the most recent addition. She has been with me for about a year and deals with communications materials.

What I find interesting is most of my staff members have been with me for more than five years, including my executive assistant, Jamie Schmale, who actually started in my office back in 2004. In fact, he ran against me in the nomination. I had not met him before, but I remember the first time we met as candidates running against each other. On the way out of the hall, my brother said to me, “If you win this thing, you should hire that guy”. I took that advice, and he has been my executive assistant and run my campaigns. In fact he is now the nominated Conservative candidate for our riding in the next election. I wish him success as he begins this journey.

I am lucky that my riding is close enough to Ottawa that I get lots of school groups. I know some other members who are from provinces farther away do not have that opportunity and pleasure to welcome school groups, but my riding is three or four hours' drive away. When school groups come here, one of the points I always try to make with them is that public life is an honourable endeavour and that it matters, and it matters what we do; and that public life is broader than just serving in elected office, that there are many ways for people to serve their community, but it does matter.

Heaven knows that we take our share of lumps around this place, and there is lots of criticism in terms of people who make mistakes. It has been said before that 20,000 planes can land safely and that is not news, but if one crashes that leads the evening news. It is kind of the same around this place. I had been here about five years, and when I was walking in the building one day a security guard stopped me and I showed him my ID and he said, “You must be new here”. I said, “No, I have been here seven or eight years”. He said, “Why don't I recognize you?” I said, “I guess that's because I've never done anything ridiculous”. He laughed and I said, “But I'll bet you if I wanted to I could lead the news tonight and it wouldn't be by making an intelligent, rational speech in the House, but by doing something to draw attention”. It is the nature of this place that the fireworks get attention and that all the quiet good work that so many members do kind of goes so much unnoticed.

I would like to finish, as my colleagues have done, by thanking my family: my wife, Ursula, and my children, George and Molly. Five years after I was elected, they moved to Ottawa, so for the past five years my family has been here. I agree with what the hon. member for Guelph said, which is that I would encourage future Parliaments to investigate more family-friendly rules. All these votes at 6:30 in the evening could, in many cases, so easily be done following question period. I could not be here and I could not do this job without my family.

For me, unlike for my colleague from British Columbia Southern Interior, with whom I sat on the agriculture committee so many years ago, I am not retiring to go home. In fact, we are moving to South Korea where I will be teaching university, teaching politics, which is something I did a long time before I was elected. As well, my wife and I will be working with the North Korean refugee and defector community in terms of trying to make their lives better and trying to have an influence and work toward a positive resolution of that significant challenge in that part of the world.

Thanks to my family, thanks to my staff, thanks to my colleagues, and thanks to the House for this time this evening.

Members not seeking re-election to the 42nd ParliamentGovernment Orders

6:50 p.m.


Peter Goldring Conservative Edmonton East, AB

Mr. Speaker, everyone has their story of their journey to and for the House. This one is mine.

My journey began in earnest 20 years ago in partnership with my wife, Lorraine. In the summer of 1995, we were motor homing down through the southern United States when we heard on the radio that Jacques Parizeau's campaign for the upcoming referendum stalled at a 60-40 level, a repeat of René Lévesque's 1980 level. Then all of a sudden under the leadership of Lucien Bouchard, it was catapulted to an amazing 50-50 proposition. I resolved that upon returning to Edmonton I would book a week-long holiday for Lorraine and me to Quebec City over the referendum voting day to see for ourselves exactly what was happening.

Our work together for Queen and Canadian unity began in Quebec City at the Château Frontenac, where we were based for the week of the Quebec referendum in 1995, as we campaigned for Canada on the “no” side.

At the hotel at day's end, after campaigning on the streets and in the shops, we placed pedestal-mounted Canada and Alberta flags on the rotunda bar at the Château Frontenac. People gathered and staff congregated to hear the discussions. The room occupiers tilted to our deliberations. Bar glasses were supremely polished in our vicinity as the benefits of unity which seemed to prevail, at least with this group.

The evening vote results slowly and painfully came in from behind a barely registered win for the “no” side. This frightful close call for Canadian unity would change our lives forever.

Within two months, we returned to Quebec to Montreal to be granted with a western chapter to organize for the Special Committee for Canadian Unity, which would be based in Edmonton. We also sought out political parties to support. At entirely our own personal cost, we became engaged in national unity in Edmonton. We organized regular committee meetings, canvassed for supporters, became active in the media and operated a Canadian unity booth at the Alberta Legislature which turned out for over 14 years.

We also funded a group of 10 to fly to Montreal for a Special Committee for Canadian Unity dinner at McGill before boarding the unity train to Quebec City to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the bare success of the referendum of 1995. We were well received and Allan Barbe of our group was invited to the stage of the Château Frontenac to sing his wonderful song, (One) Canada (Uni).

The problem with Canadian unity support in western Canada at the time was that the vocal minority were convinced that it was too much trouble to save the unity of our country. This western vocal anti-unity minority were in effect the separatists' best supporters.

Politics followed, and I was called upon in early 1997 to run for the Reform Party nomination in Edmonton East and to win a seat in election 1997 from a sitting Liberal. To this day, I am still a card-carrying and active supporting member of the Special Committee for Canadian Unity in Montreal.

Lorraine, of course, organized fundraisers and meetings from the days of the Special Committee for Canadian Unity following the Quebec referendum through to today, including the assemblies and meetings of the Reform Party, Canadian Alliance and then the Conservative Party. I did my job, searching far and wide throughout Canada, being proactive in news stories which had many times before supported and propelled my issues in politics and unity forward.

Nomination races, elections, committee chair elections are all about marketing. My many years in business prior to politics are those in which I honed my marketing 101 skills. Before politics, I ran my own business and was required to travel frequently to job sites and to meet with clients, something that prepared me for the travel that is required for a member of Parliament. That work also allowed me to take the time to travel with Lorraine to Quebec City to experience in 1995 the Quebec referendum first-hand.

Early in 1996, I was working in Cochrane, a town just west of Calgary, and having a late night dinner in a restaurant. While I ate, I was using the time to write to parliamentarians in Ottawa, sharing my concerns for national unity. A local man came up to me and noting the paperwork, asked me what I was doing, was I perhaps a school teacher correcting papers.

A discussion followed, during which I divulged my concerns, my wish to get answers, and my desire to find ways to get involved to help Canadian unity efforts. I also explained that, while I had absolutely no previous political party affiliation, I would be contacting parties to offer my help.

The man from Cochrane said that I was wasting my time and that one man could not make a difference. Perhaps in some cases that man from Cochrane would be right; perhaps one man cannot make a difference, but I have never backed down from a challenge, especially not when it involved something about which I am passionate.

Can one man make a difference? He can if that man has a tremendously hard-working wife like Lorraine, if he has family, friends, party, volunteers, and contributors doing their part for Canadian unity, for Edmonton East, for Canada, and internationally.

I am very satisfied with the efforts of my partnership and team over the past 20 years:

I would simply not be here without my wife, Lorraine. Her work is the secret to our success. My daughters, Corinna and Kristina, have given unwavering support and assistance over the past 18 years. My one daughter Corinna asked in the very early times when we were working on Canadian unity issues if we were on a quest, and for that I really had to say yes.

Both my daughters have been involved in artistry for certificates, for unity train graphics, and for T-shirts. The T-shirt in Montreal was a supreme hit. My other daughter came up with the graphic and slogan for my nomination, which was “Go for Gold, vote Goldring”. What a kid.

My son-in-law Tom provided his help and support. I want to spend much more time with my granddaughters, Katelin, Alexandra, and Eleanor, to watch them grow up.

In my Edmonton office, Annette Sabrowsky gave 18 great years of tremendous work ethics and solid management skills that are so essential for a well-run endeavour; and Lynda Werning gave 7 years, recognized by so many for her excellent work, particularly on the immigration file.

In my Ottawa office, there was Shazmin Ali, with 10 years' outstanding office management in Ottawa, very capable and personable; Lorne Anderson, for 8 years and hundreds of articles, brochures, and reports; Grant Peters, just for the past 8 short months, but he has done tremendous research, writing, and organizational work on 90 meetings in Canada, U.S.A., Ukraine, and Turkey. They are a great staff.

I extend special thanks to supporters, board members, volunteers, contributors, colleagues, and House of Commons support staff.

After 98 years, Edmonton East, a swing riding that has been host to every political party in western Canada, will come to an end as an entity. Some 17 members have served in Edmonton East, with Bill Skoreyko's 21 years leading. Second is my service of 18 years, and then third are 15 others whose terms varied from 3 to 6 years.

My 53% support in the 2011 election is the highest level of support since 1979, when Bill Yurko received 56% more than 30 years ago.

Successes, I have had more than my fair share. Only some of these were merchant navy veterans, 50-year concerns, successful; Hong Kong veterans, 50-year concerns, successful; Christmas in Ortona; Col. John McCrae's medals that were saved; the Kingsclear report, with Karl Toft and RCMP investigation; two books on affordable housing and unity; and on Canadian unity, the highest level of support since the early 1960s, as opposed to the fifty-fifty level when I began in 1997.

Regrets, I have had a few but too few to dwell on.

Five Goldring brothers arrived in Upper Canada in the 1840s. Several became captains of industry. Literally, Captain Richard Goldring skippered the schooner Maple Leaf out of Whitby, Ontario, where I went to high school. I am proud, though, to be the first Goldring to serve in elected public office.

Now in the twilight of my life, the time to step aside draws nigh. I will forever treasure this honour to have served our Queen, our country, and the constituents of Edmonton East. I wish all the best and thank the Speaker and everyone here in Ottawa. May God bless.

Members not seeking re-election to the 42nd ParliamentGovernment Orders

7 p.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia


Gerald Keddy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture

Mr. Chair, it is a real pleasure to rise and speak in the House tonight.

In 10 minutes, it is hard to put across one's entire career in politics, whether a short-lived career or one that has greater longevity. However, for my political career, June 2 marked 18 years. I remember coming to this place 18 years ago as a young parliamentarian, quite frankly green as grass, and walking onto the green floor of the House of Commons, which of course, represents the grassroots.

It is not just representative of the grassroots of Canada, but it goes back to another era and another time, to the time of the signing of the Magna Carta at Runnymede. King John, of course, was granting greater taxation abilities to the knights and nobility. Because he was the king, he forced the knights and nobility to dismount and stand on the grass, and that is where the expression “grassroots” comes from. It was because they were standing on the grass sod.

We know, in today's terms, that it was a very elite group, certainly the cream of society, whereas in this place, under true democracy, everyone—even myself, a kid growing up in rural Nova Scotia—has an opportunity to come to the House of Commons of Canada. It is a great gift to be passed to other Canadians.

I think back to my nomination speech, and we all went through one. We all got our supporters out and dragged them to a fire hall or town hall somewhere and got them all to vote. I cannot tell members what I said in my nomination speech. I really have very little idea, because I was extremely nervous. However, I do remember quoting Robert Service from The Shooting of Dan McGrew, and I think it stood me in good stead for this job. It was probably the only part of my nomination speech that was delivered fairly well. I quoted this part:

When out of the night, which was fifty below, and into the din and the glare,
There stumbled a miner fresh from the creeks, dog-dirty, and loaded for bear.
He looked like a man with a foot in the grave and scarcely the strength of a louse,
Yet he tilted a poke of dust on the bar, and he called for drinks for the house.

I always felt that put me in the right frame of mind to come here, because this is a very adversarial chamber at times, with quite a rowdy crew at times. At times, we could be mistaken for that barroom in that piece of poetry written by Robert Service.

However, in all honesty, there are many times when we work more collaboratively and actually do a good job, and I think everyone comes here with the right intent. Regardless of our political affiliation, people come here for the right reasons. Sometimes they get led astray a little bit, but the majority of us are here for the right reasons, doing a good job on behalf of our constituents and on behalf of the country.

I wrote down “politics can be frustrating, demanding, perplexing, and gratifying”. I think all of my colleagues would recognize those words. However, we are all here because we have partners in life, family, friends, supporters, and all of the volunteers who have been kind and generous of their time, and who allow us to stand in this chamber and discuss the events of the nation.

Certainly, I need to first of all thank my family, my wife Judy, our six kids, my brothers and sisters, and my friends who have been supportive over the years. I know we are not allowed to draw attention to anyone in the gallery, and I have no intention of doing that, but I am pretty sure that my wife Judy, my sister Marsha, my brother-in-law Charlie, my friends Peter and George are probably watching this tonight.

I need to recognize my staff in the riding: Kim who has worked for me as long as I have been a member of Parliament, Jennifer, Shauna, who has now left and is working in New Brunswick, Cathy, who works in the Barrington office, and Ben, who works in my Ottawa office. They really are the glue that holds us together. As important as the support and love of our families are, members could not do this job, as was mentioned earlier this evening, without the quality, expertise, and professionalism that our staff shows us every single day. That includes former staffers, many of whom have gone on to great careers in political life themselves.

I want to take a moment to talk about the volunteers. All members, whichever side of the House we work on, have got here because of the hard work of dozens, hundreds, and perhaps even thousands of volunteers. Here in Canada, we are a volunteering society. People volunteer at their local legions, churches, and food banks, but it is somehow a dirty word to say that someone volunteers in politics. Quite frankly, shame on us, because those volunteers are the other part of the glue that binds this democracy together. We need to recognize them and thank them for their contribution to the work that goes on, whether it is the Parliament of Canada, the provincial and territorial legislatures, or the municipalities. We could not do this job without them.

I want to thank all of my colleagues. I am not going to name everyone and I do not mean to steal the Minister of Justice's line, but we were elected at the same time, on June 2, 1997, and at that time we were a small band that had come to Ottawa trying to make big changes. It took us a long time to do that, but quite frankly, because we put the two parties together, we are standing here today not just as retiring members of Parliament but retiring members of Parliament in a government that has made real, serious change to this country, for the better.

I want to recognize and thank the Prime Minister for putting his faith in me and allowing me to serve as parliamentary secretary. That is something I will always appreciate. I was able, in that role and capacity, to work on some large files, which I never would have been able to do otherwise.

Private members' business was mentioned earlier. When I first got here, I was looking at reducing or eliminating the capital gains on privately owned woodlots in Canada, and I was able to bring that forward in a private member's bill. The government of the day did not see fit to pass it, but it did bring in the legislation itself and it became law. I also had a private member's bill on fisheries capital gains. We brought that in as an election promise and did it. It has been a huge boost for private woodlots and fisheries.

I also had the great honour of working on the Heritage Lighthouse Preservation Act with folks like Barry MacDonald from Nova Scotia. We were able to preserve forever a number of ancient lighthouses in Nova Scotia, one in particular on Cape Sable Island in my riding. The Minister of Justice and I were able to make the announcement on the other one just outside of my riding, the Sambro Island light. The Sambro Island light is the oldest lighthouse not just in Nova Scotia, Canada, or North America but in the western hemisphere. That is a piece of heritage that we were able to help preserve.

I want to say to all of my colleagues, family, and friends that it has been an honour and a pleasure to serve.

Members not seeking re-election to the 42nd ParliamentGovernment Orders

7:10 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia


Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Chair, it is a real honour. It is certainly an honour to follow my friend and colleague from South Shore—St. Margaret's but also to be here with all my colleagues and with you, Mr. Chair.

As I rise in this place, perhaps for the final time, I too wanted to share some thoughts and reflections on the last 18 years and the gift it has been to be part of this institution, this formidable place. It is beyond question. The House of Commons and our Parliament of Canada has stood for almost a century and a half, and I suspect that now, as in the future, it will remain a work in progress. Clearly, the physical and political infrastructure and the construction that continues around this place will go on.

As I pass through, I will remember, first and foremost, the people. The majesty and the splendour of these gorgeous buildings and this remarkable chamber leave one breathless. However, so too do the gracious and hard-working people who populate it, the people who work here, the people who keep us safe, transport us, feed us, and keep us moving forward in our daily tasks.

Of course, no one would be here without the people we represent, our constituents. My first words of thanks are to the people of Central Nova. My northern Nova Scotia constituency comprises Pictou, Antigonish, Guysborough, parts of Halifax County and soon parts of Musquodoboit Valley, which I will inherit from my friend from Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, who I now call the last man standing.

Although the name changed, the people remained the same: strong stock, hard-working, industrious, loyal. They are communities and people I was always proud to represent. I have held their confidence as their member of Parliament for six terms. It is a true honour in every sense of the word.

I listened to the eloquent words of colleagues who have spoken before me, and I share so many of those sentiments. I cherish so much of this shared life, this political life, here in Ottawa and throughout the country.

My fellow parliamentarians, and those in particular of the Conservative Party, my political home, also went through an evolution during my tenure. There has been throughout our history, from John A. Macdonald to our current leader, the Prime Minister, an unbroken continuity in our political bloodline and a commitment to the building and advancing of our Canada. I am proud to have served as a Conservative and am comfortable in the knowledge that we are a strong, united party with strong values, Canadian values, a progressive political party deeply ingrained in the origins and future of our nation in our outlook and orientation.

As was mentioned as well, it is a party that I believe brings about many shared recollections. I am glad to share them with my colleague opposite, the previous justice minister, the member from Mount Royal, who was for me, in many ways, a mentor. I was his critic, and today he is in some ways my critic. However, that criticism is always constructive and respectful and indicative, I think, of the very best of this place when we come together around important ideas and important notions that move the country forward.

My efforts, first and foremost, have always been to improve the lives of those of my constituents in Central Nova, whether it be through infrastructure, through investments or programs, or through personal support, much of which can only occur through the work of those in our constituency offices. Other members, of course, have made the same observation. I have been so fortunate to have a remarkable team.

Through government portfolios I have held in the last nine years, I hope I have been able to contribute, through bills and debates over the years, as have all who have gone before me. Though some would inevitably be spoken with words of passion and even great emotion, this is a place of ideas and healthy debate first and foremost. Debate should flourish, as it does.

In this place, this formidable institution, our House, I hope I may have left a small impression, not on the physical side, not carved in limestone or in wood, like the words, figures, and symbols found throughout this place, the work of gifted craftspeople and masons from all parts of Canada, but through the decisions and the debates, governance, rules, and regulations we are duty bound to respect but also to amend and modernize over time.

Many previous speakers referenced family, and I, of course, will do the same. There was one small contribution from my days as an opposition House leader. As my friend from South Shore—St. Margaret's mentioned, we came to this place together, young, idealistic, and ready to bring about change. I was a single man, and I argued successfully for the installation of baby change tables in all of the parliamentary precinct washrooms, both male and female, and I used one the other day with my son.

I made that presentation at the Board of Internal Economy, but it was really the brainchild of my good friend, John Holtby, a giant in my eyes, who remains one of the most knowledgeable parliamentary procedural experts in Canada, an author and intellect, an icon and a friend. He is now back growing his garden, and like my grandfather, he loves to watch nature grow, including budding politicians, who he took under his able wing.

It has been my honour and privilege to serve in this House of democracy, and I thank all of those, of all political stripes, past and present, and my colleagues, too many to recall here, I served with. Although we sometimes lined up on different issues on different sides of this place with different parties, we served alongside one another.

Parliamentarians all come with true hearts, clear heads, and an intent to bring positive change. It is a great privilege afforded to all of us by our constituents and is a shared experience, a common goal, to leave this place and the country stronger.

This pursuit is an honourable calling, despite its frailties and its failings, like democracy itself. As the great Sir Winston Churchill said of democracy:

Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried...

I am humbled by this privilege and hope that my record will show that I did my best for my riding, and indeed, for all of Nova Scotia and Canada. My grandmother encouraged me to do so.

Since 2006, the Prime Minister has bestowed on me the privilege of serving as foreign minister, minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency responsible for the Atlantic gateway, minister of national defence, and currently Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. In addition, I have represented Nova Scotia in the federal cabinet and other provinces. I have chaired cabinet committees. I thank the Prime Minister for his confidence and support in all of those positions. I did my best to fulfill our Conservative government's promises to Canadians.

I thank him personally, as well, for the request that I continue in my role as Minister of Justice and Attorney General until the election, and I relish the opportunity to finish with a flourish and to finish out my mandate as the member of Parliament for Central Nova.

In each and every portfolio, I have worked with dedicated public servants who work hard and put in long hours to help implement changes and improve policy and programs. From deputy ministers to those throughout the ranks, I thank them for their service.

As many in this chamber will know, I was honoured to work with the Canadian Armed Forces for some seven years during a war. Those folks, our greatest citizens, who sign up and literally put service to their country first and foremost and put their lives on the line, are truly remarkable. I remain in awe, humbled and inspired by those who serve our country in uniform, and I was honoured to be called their minister.

I have been well served in my time here, from literally day one, by Madeleine and Krista, who I met in a previous occupation in the law, and so many others back home, who I named and spoke of, many of whom have been with me a long time.

I thank all of my staff, who have been exceptional in their loyalty to me, to the government, and to Canada. I thank them for their public service and their dedication. They are a keen, hard-charging team that I have with me to this day, and it makes me lament the fact that I will no longer have the joy of working with them. They are, in my estimation, an all-star team.

Marian, my chief of staff, wore out her knees walking these halls and can match minds with anyone in this place. Her Irish makes it hard to disagree with her once her mind has been made up. There is Marc Charbonneau, who, like many I have known, would literally take a bullet for me, which takes on real meaning given the events of last October. I will miss them, not as employees but as friends and colleagues.

The relentless pace here sometimes make it feel like we are living life in fast forward.

Finally, I would like to thank my family, the undeniable reason I chose to move on from this place. My parents and grandparents made me all that I am and gave me all that I have. They instilled in me good values, a fine example in their lives, and the sacrifices they made for my siblings and I remain my greatest inspiration.

My father was a parliamentarian. He set a high bar. My mother would have been an excellent and compassionate member of this place as well, with a heart that would fill this chamber. She would have been a great debater as well, and I never want to debate my mother. I thank them for their love and support. It has been my lifeblood.

My siblings are my closest and dearest friends. Most of all, I thank my wife, Nazanin, who I met here as a member of Parliament, in fact, in this lobby just behind me. Were it not for politics, I would not have met the love of my life. She remains my compass and my confidante. Her values, kind nature, and disposition are in our son Kian's DNA. Our wonderful, healthy, and curious boy has given my life real meaning. I cannot wait to meet our unborn daughter.

Appropriately, my last words are spoken with passion and love for this place but are only outweighed by my hope for more time with the people I love more.

As I close, I borrow the words of the Scottish bard, Robbie Burns, who said:

Adieu! a heart-warm, fond adieu...
With melting heart, and brimful eye,
I'll mind you still, tho' far awa'.

À bientôt, mes chers collègues, till we meet again.

I quote, as well, the great John Diefenbaker, who said that “parliament is more than procedure—it is the custodian of the nation's freedom”.

Time and time again, we have proven that when Canada's collective freedom and security is threatened, it does not matter where we come from or what our political background. When it comes to Canada, we come together for the betterment of our nation and our constituents. That is when this House is at its best.

May this place never be without our truly dedicated citizens, who above all else, stand for the betterment of our nation.

Members not seeking re-election to the 42nd ParliamentGovernment Orders

7:25 p.m.


Gerry Byrne Liberal Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Chair, thank you for hosting us on a very special evening on this just another day at the office, but what an office to be able to come to each and every day.

I want to take some time to reintroduce you, Mr. Chair and colleagues, to my riding, the place that I have served in the House for some 19 years, every since March 25, 1996, following a byelection. Five other of my colleagues were elected that day and we have been very best of friends ever since.

Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte is a treasure place. It is a place that I am so deeply proud to represent, mostly because it is my home. Before I reflect on my riding and all of its incredible people, its scenery and its heart, I also want to reflect on where I started in this place, because where I started is where I will finish.

My first days as a member of Parliament as I walked these hallowed halls were indeed very bittersweet. I started fairly early in a political career. I was the former executive assistant to a federal cabinet minister and went on to become an acting chief of staff to a premier. Then there was a byelection called for March 25, 1996 in Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte. Politics was very much in my blood. I thought about running. I asked many people. I asked the most important person in my life at that time, an important person who is still deeply and dearly in my life today, my dad. I asked him if I should run. He looked at me and said “You can do whatever you want. Just know I'll be with you”. I did run. I ran for the nomination and I won. Then I ran in the byelection and I won as well. That was seven or eight elections ago.

It has been an incredible journey, one that has been filled with ups and downs. My first days walking in these halls were indeed bittersweet because my dad, who was my best campaigner, had cancer, but I did not know it and he did not know it. We walked the campaign trail together, successfully winning in March. My greatest joy would be to spend part of my career walking with him in Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, my riding. He was here, just up above me, as I was sworn in. He passed away on July 27 at 7 p.m., just three short months later.

I would do anything; I would surrender all if I could spend one more day with him. However, if I were to ask him if he could share another day with me, he would tell me “You have to share the next day with the people that are most important to you”.

That became my fundamental philosophy, to understand who I am and who I represent and who is most dear to me. With my dad no longer by my side but always in my heart, I kept his values and I stayed as the member of Parliament seeking reconfirmation of election in 1997, in 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2011. Finally, after 19 years of serving in this place, I said that maybe a change is due.

Nineteen years of living out of a suitcase is not easy. Nineteen years of representing the people of Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte has been a pleasure. As now with my own family, I knew that a time would come that a change was necessary, and I hope to offer in a different place for a very beautiful place, called Corner Brook, in the near future.

My reflections tonight are on Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte and the people whom I owe so much to. I want to very dearly and sincerely thank Lisa Snow, who came to my office in a moment of chaos and turned it into order, Bonita Costello, who grew and became my executive assistant, Jerome Ward, my principal adviser on all fisheries matters, the very creative Jeanette Mulrooney-French, and Susie Bugden, who helped keep order in the office.

I had tremendous opportunity in my 19 years here. I served as parliamentary secretary to several ministers, and I also served in the federal cabinet of Jean Chrétien as ACOA minister. I will never ever forget those days. As heady as they were, they were filled with great satisfaction and joy. I want to thank Debbie Vickers, Corey Hobbs, Ralph Meachon, Olivia Letemplier, Denise Allain, and several others who helped me in that job.

It goes without saying that we are temporary custodians in this place, but this place does leave an indelible mark upon us. It also has moments of great joy, but also moments of great strain on our families, as we all know. There are two very essential and important people I want to take a special moment to thank.

My wife, Denise Gibbons, is probably one of the sharpest political advisers I could ever have from the sense that she knows how to run a family and she also knows how to run me. She knows exactly what needs to be done.

I come from a very political family, and I guess it was only natural that Denise and I would become a part of each other's lives. My father ran for the NDP in 1958 and 1962. He was a great advocate of natural social justice. He was a great campaigner and supporter of mine. My father-in-law was the president of the PC Party of Newfoundland and Labrador for several years.

When Denise and I were engaged to be married, we went to Monsignor Murphy, and in his dry Irish Catholic wit, noting my father's political allegiance and my father-in-law's political allegiance, he looked at the two of us and said, “I will consent to perform the sanctity of marriage, but we will all here today have to agree that this is very much a mixed marriage.”

That mixed marriage was a partnership that has served me so well. It produced for us a son, Gerry, who I love and adore more than anything. He has become my new rock and one of the reasons that, as much as I love this place, I must leave it. It is time for me to go home.

I want to continue to serve. I want to continue to serve the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, maybe now in a new role, if they will have me, as the MHA for Corner Brook district. Those days will come. Those days will be decided, but they will indeed come, as they always do. What shall be, shall pass.

There are many of us here who have regrets, and understandably so. This is not an easy life. I can honestly look in the mirror and into the eyes of the ones I love and say that I have no regrets because of those who I love. They have stood by me each and every step of the way. Without them I would be nothing. I wish I could be with my father. I cannot. Another day. I have my mom, and she is a great rock of support. She now needs my care a little more. I have my family.

This has been a great family while away for 19 years, but today is the day to say thank you and goodbye. I hope to see everyone again. I hope we can continue to work with each other in other capacities, in other roles. There is a lot of building to do in my province. There is a lot of building to do in Canada. If we continue on with the sense that we are all in this together one way or another, we all are a family, then I think we will all be better off.

Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte is a very special place, and if I could give one explanation of why people would see that to be true, there are sixteen UNESCO world heritage sites in Canada and two of them are in my riding of Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte. It is a reflection of the great natural and human history of the place, but it is also a reflection of the fact that it is where Canada first began, in many respects. It is one of the oldest places settled in all of Canada.

It has been a pleasure to be here. I want to thank my colleagues on the Conservative side, my colleagues in the NDP, and in particular my own colleagues here in the Liberal Party of Canada.

I have had great leadership and I look forward to great leadership from this place coming forward and making Canada a much better place. If I could have played a small role in that over my career as it was, that makes me proud. However, mostly, I am proud about being a friend to each and every member.

God bless. Best of luck to us all and I hope to see everyone soon.

Members not seeking re-election to the 42nd ParliamentGovernment Orders

7:35 p.m.

Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission B.C.


Randy Kamp ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Chair, I appreciate the opportunity to make a few remarks this evening.

My political story actually began in 1997. I was in transition, what some might call unemployed, and was invited by what is now Service Canada to participate in a course for downsized executives and managers. They told us we should view our situation as being in a canoe, having left the safety of an island where we had lived for many years and we were paddling, sometimes furiously, but we needed to know which of those islands we wanted to head toward. That is where I was in 1997, paddling furiously, but not really knowing where I was going.

To be honest, I do not think it crossed my mind that I should start paddling to that island called politics. However, coincidentally, one day during our lunch break there was a commotion at the hotel next door and it was a rally for Preston Manning, leader of the Reform Party.

In the riding where I lived, called Dewdney—Alouette then, Grant McNally, the young, first-time Reform candidate, won the June 2nd election. A mutual friend told me Grant was looking for someone to run his constituency office, so I applied and within a week or so, I was scheduled for an interview. I cannot say that I remember too much about the interview, I think it went well, except that when I walked out of the office, the other short-listed candidate was there waiting for his interview. He was young, tall, had hair, but I got the job. That young man is now the member of Parliament for Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam and the Minister of Industry. It is interesting to wonder or muse about how life might have changed for both of us if he had gotten the job instead of me.

Seven years later, when the parties merged to form the Conservative Party of Canada, Grant shared the disappointing news that he was not going to seek the nomination for the new party. Few believe me when I say this, but while working as his executive assistant, I had never thought seriously of succeeding him some day. However, with Grant's announced retirement and others declaring their intentions, I thought I should think about it.

My first inclination was not to run. Being an introvert and more reserved than most politicians, I was not sure it was a good fit for me. I wrestled with the decision for several days and nights, but eventually Ruth lost patience with me, which almost never happens, and said, “Don't be such a coward”, so I jumped in.

Some listening will know that I was not expected to win the nomination. I was criticized by some for not being ambitious enough, or as one friend put it, “I want to vote for someone with fire in his belly”. I admit that my nomination campaign slogan, “I'm willing to win”, was not too inspiring, but Ruth is a formidable woman and ran a strong campaign, and I won.

On June 28, 2004, I won my first election, and for that I want to thank the constituents of Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission who have been increasingly supportive for 11 years.

I have to admit that even for someone as low key as I am, those were heady days.

Just after that first election, Ruth and I were on our regular Friday date night, dining at a food court in a local mall, when a young man approached me. Although he appeared to have a developmental disability, I thought maybe he recognized me from my signs or billboard, the new Member of Parliament. He said, “Mister, your fly is down”. I have managed to keep my feet on the ground and my fly up ever since.

I am well aware that I was not elected that first time, or the second, third or fourth time because of my brilliance or good looks. Politics is a team game and I have always had an outstanding team behind me, from the campaign managers and volunteers, to the EDA presidents and boards that have been unfailingly loyal and helpful.

Special thanks needs to go to my close friend and official agent, Mark Bogdanovich, who has supported me since 1997 when I first found myself in the political arena. In many ways we are kindred spirits and his friendship and encouragement have kept me going during those especially challenging times that come to every MP from time to time.

Let me also express my heartfelt thanks to those who have served me in my constituency and Hill offices. My first team of Rebecca Bartle here in Ottawa, and David Russell-Coutts and Dan Cody in Maple Ridge, led by the current member for Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon, became remarkably good at their jobs and, as much as it is possible for me, made the job fun.

It was with that group that I developed our office value statement that is still on our whiteboard today: “We represent our constituents most effectively when we serve them most helpfully”.

They all went on to bigger and better things, and that is as it should be, but other capable individuals came on board, including some very good interns and volunteers, and none more capable than my current team that has served with me for several years. Cutis Schoblocher here in Ottawa and in my constituency office, Janis Butcher, Davis Friesen and my executive assistant, Mike Murray. I thank them. It is a rare blessing when we get to work with friends.

Let me also thank the Prime Minister for allowing me to serve as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans for more than nine years. Although I might have mumbled from time to time that no good deed goes unpunished, I have always considered it a privilege to serve under three humble, down-to-earth ministers: first Loyola Hearn, the member for Fredericton and the member for Egmont twice. All three had the knack of asking me to work on things that interested me and stimulated me, and for that I thank them.

In my parliamentary secretary role, I have worked with intelligent, competent PSAs who, as much as is possible, made me look good, so thanks to Jeff Kennedy, Connor Robinson, Brad Nazar, Blair Kestevan and my current assistant, Paul Beckmann. I look forward to cheering on their future accomplishments that I know will come.

Let me also thank my colleagues from all parties who have treated me with respect, especially in these last few years when I struggled with severe hearing loss. I thank them for their understanding.

I have left until the last those who are first in my life: my family. My parents, in addition to being perhaps a little surprised by my success, have always been very supportive and proud. My mother died about two and a half years ago and I miss her encouragement, but my father at almost 89 is still one of my biggest fans, as I am of him.

I want to thank my children, Mark, Melanie and Adam and their spouses for their love and support throughout this journey. As all my colleagues will know, being in public life affects our families too. When, for example, in a radio interview with CKNW, the host, not realizing her mike was still on, called me a moron. It might have bothered them more than me, but perhaps not, because I think they came to that conclusion on their own during their teen years.

When I was first elected, I had one grandchild, a two-year-old. Now I have 12. Three of them walked with me in a parade on Saturday, so my only regret is leaving this job when they could have become really useful on my campaigns. I have got some grandfathering to catch up on, so that will be one of my highest priorities after October 19.

Then course there's Ruth, my wife of more than 41 years. I first met her in 1971 when we were still in our teens. She was everything I was not: vivacious, energetic, enthusiastic, good-looking and verbal. I was smitten, and still am. She has been, in every sense of the word, my partner during my career in politics. Although it was my name on the ballots and campaign signs and on the office door, those who know us best are well aware of the indispensable role that Ruth has played. I wouldn't be here without her. I look forward to the next 41 years together.

Finally, I want to thank God who has blessed me beyond what I could have imagined, as I have had the privilege of serving the people of Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission and, in that role, in some small way, serving Him too.

Members not seeking re-election to the 42nd ParliamentGovernment Orders

7:45 p.m.


Russ Hiebert Conservative South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, BC

Mr. Chair, I appreciate this opportunity to say a few words after the tremendous privilege of representing the good people of South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale in this place for the past 11 years, and through four Parliaments.

First, I would like to thank the voters, my friends and neighbours who saw fit to send me here to this place, and then send me here again three more times. I am humbled by their trust in me and in our government, and have been proud of the many ways I and my team of office staff have been able to serve our community in this position.

I have always worked hard on their behalf, and since forming government in 2006, I have also been able to deliver on many of the priorities of our community. I have seen many millions of federal dollars spent in our district on projects large and small that have met important needs. I have also taken on some very specific projects and initiatives in Parliament that have benefited my community.

One in particular was the all-party border caucus, which I founded with former Liberal MP Roger Gallaway, and the current NDP MP for Windsor West shortly after arriving here. Those were challenging years for the Canada-U.S. relations. In the shadow of 9/11, security at the border was taking precedence over trade and efficiency, and sometimes even over common sense. Together, with border MPs from all parties, we met with our counterparts in the U.S. Congress and worked with them over the years to find solutions to the challenges of creating a secure and efficient border.

Another highlight for me was in 2006, when I had the honour to be elected by my colleagues to lead the Canadian branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and was subsequently re-elected to serve six more terms. As one of the oldest democracies in the world, Canada offers real leadership to the more recently established nations, particularly in the developing world. The CPA makes a real contribution to developing democratic institutions in its 54-member nations, and I cherished playing a significant role in these efforts.

Serving as the parliamentary secretary first in national defence, then in intergovernmental affairs and western economic diversification was a unique opportunity to contribute to the work of our government. One of the highlights of my term was travelling to Kandahar to see the efforts of our Canadian troops selflessly working to make that struggling nation a better place. While I was there I was also able to deliver the first of a number of wheelchairs to disabled Afghan citizens. The wheelchairs were donated by the Canadian Wheelchair Foundation, a charity located in my district. What an honour it was for me to see the bravery and generosity of Canadians affecting the lives of those in need in a weary, wartorn land.

I have also greatly valued the opportunity I have had to serve on several valuable committees in the House. Among them are finance, national defence, international trade, natural resources, ethics and international human rights. It was my time on the international human rights committee that opened my eyes wider to the very real suffering and persecution that continues in many parts of the world. As such, I am thankful for a Prime Minister and a cabinet that have been bold and uncompromising in facing down evil where it exists around the world. Also, I am thankful for colleagues across party lines who are passionate about these same issues with whom I have been privileged to work.

I also come away from this experience with a greater appreciation of the legislative process. Throughout the beginning of this Parliament, I had the unusual privilege of being drawn number one in private members' business. My bill, Bill C-377, on financial disclosure for labour organizations, was passed through all three readings by my colleagues in this place, and is now at third reading in the other chamber, where I hope it will receive a final vote soon. I want to express my appreciation to so many colleagues, both here and in the Senate, for their tremendous support and encouragement, as Bill C-377 has slowly wound its way through the process.

Our success here is never achieved alone. When I look back, many names and faces come to mind of people who share in the good work that has been accomplished here in the past decade. Therefore, I want to conclude my remarks by offering thanks to just some of the many important people who have helped me along the way.

First of all, I thank my mother, Erna Hiebert, who raised me well and taught me the principles by which I should live my life. Her advice is still very valuable to me, and I have benefited from her support and pride in all that I do.

I also thank my wonderful wife, Andrea, my closest friend, biggest fan, and strongest supporter. We are a team. She softens my rougher edges. She sometimes makes my speeches more lively, and she holds down the fort at home capably and devotedly. We decided to embark on this adventure together. We have shared the ups and downs, and now we are choosing to take on new challenges together. I thank her for walking with me.

Departing politicians frequently cite the need to spend more time with family as one of the reasons that they are leaving public life, and this is certainly true in my case. When we started this political journey, it was just Andrea and me, but soon we were blessed with the birth of a little girl, Kate, who was born on, of all days, Canada Day. She was joined three years later by another special girl, Marie. Finally, remarkable twin brothers Ryan and Kyle joined their older sisters after the 2011 election. I want to thank them for their patience for all of the time that I was away, but I look forward to us spending more time together.

I have been fortunate to have a remarkable team in my offices both here in Ottawa and in British Columbia, helping me serve our community and making me look good. They have been invaluable to me. Thanks to each one of them for their service, friendship, and persistence.

Special thanks to Peter Stock, my political brother, strategic adviser and friend, who has worked with me for all of the past 11 years.

There are also many people who generously gave their time and resources to help me get elected and to maintain me in office. I cannot possibly name them all, but there are some key friends who have given tirelessly for years. Ed and Marlene Penner, Brian and Norma Bowen, and Don and Muriel Hanberg have been stalwart supporters. Mike Martens and Kathy Jary were instrumental not only in starting this journey, but also in surviving when the elections seemed never ending.

I also want to express my appreciation and deep respect for our leader, the Prime Minister, who remains the hardest working of all MPs. I want to thank him for his leadership and for the trust he has placed in me as a member of his team. I also want to thank each of my colleagues for their support, encouragement, and advice.

Politics is a team sport and at the national level it has been a great privilege playing on the Conservative team. I thank my friends.

While I look forward to a new and exciting chapter in my life, it has been an honour to serve in this chamber for the past 11 years. This unique place, the unparalleled experiences, the dear friends we have made along the way, the hard work, the objectives achieved, the remarkable people I have met and worked with from around the world, the opportunities to give back to my community and to my country; for all of this, I am thankful and feel tremendously blessed.

May God continue to keep our land strong, glorious, and free.

Members not seeking re-election to the 42nd ParliamentGovernment Orders

7:55 p.m.


Lise St-Denis Liberal Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Chair, I would first like to thank all those who thought to give members who will not be seeking re-election the opportunity to talk about their experiences. Many of those members have been here for a long time, but I have not been here very long. Like about 60 of the other members here, my election came as a complete surprise.

Although I had been volunteering in the political sphere for some time, I never thought that it would bring me to the House of Commons. That is often the attitude that women have with regard to a career in politics. As some of my female colleagues have said, strong arguments are sometimes needed to convince a woman to run for election.

In the party for which I was working, I was the president of the women's commission, and along with two other colleagues, I wrote the bylaws for the Quebec section of the party. I was active and involved, and I never thought about becoming a member of Parliament. However, in the end, parliamentary life turned out to be a rich experience for me in several respects.

It is really something to be able to participate in making decisions for a country, even as a member of the opposition. In my opinion, this was a great privilege. What will I remember about the four years I spent working in the House and in my riding?

In the House of Commons, members develop the ability to analyze the political fact differently from ordinary Canadians. Because of the tools at their disposal, they have more information available on which to base their decisions. Government bills move the country in the direction the government wants it to go, but such decisions cannot be said to be made lightly, even if the differences in the parties' approaches sometimes lead to outcomes that not everyone approves of.

Members also have the right to introduce bills and motions. The order of precedence for doing so is determined by a draw. Unfortunately, Parliament would have to stay in session for a few more months for me to have my turn.

Last week, I attended the debate in the House on a motion that proposed that all members should be allowed to vote freely on all matters of conscience or moral judgment. Even without having defined what was meant by a matter of conscience, something that must be done before we vote on the motion, we talked about whether we should be voting based on what our constituents want, the party line or our personal conscience. That is not an easy problem to solve.

That is the kind of dilemma we sometimes come up against—one where beliefs and ideologies stand in stark contrast and call for research, testimony and thorough analysis to ensure that, in the end, the vote is just and appropriate.

Fridays in the House are special. Most of the members have returned home to their ridings, and the House is getting ready to shut down for the weekend after one final hour of debate on a motion or a private member's bill. That is one of the rare instances when there is time for a more personal debate.

That is what happened last week when we were debating Bill C-643, which called for a national spinal cord injury awareness day. The bill, sponsored by our two MPs in wheelchairs, gave us a rare opportunity to step away from partisan rhetoric and learn more about their lives.

It was on that rare occasion that members set partisanship aside and shared the same human emotions. Such a rare situation, so different from what we see during question period, should be more common.

I would like to add that, in terms of life in the House during the 41st Parliament, debate was often restricted on the pretext that everything had been said.

However, it is often following the analyses of experts in a given field, analyses that are undeniably very important, that a more secondary analysis will bring out certain aspects that were overlooked the first time.

If I could make one wish in that regard, it would be that no debate ever be limited. Freedom of speech is vital to democracy. The diversity of analyses undertaken from various perspectives can only enrich the debate and allow for more enlightened decisions.

The second aspect of the life of an MP is the work we do in our ridings. The first thing my political staffer and I did was hire someone for the constituency office who knew our new work environment really well. Through her, we got to know the riding, with its 23 municipalities, its 37,000 km 2, its diverse landscapes, the social and economic diversity of its towns and cities, its difficulties and its unemployment issues. I thank her for that. We built relationships with all the mayors, community groups, organizations, small businesses and MLAs that we met at the various events we attended. We discovered all the physical beauty and human potential that exist in this riding. I learned to love it and defend it wholeheartedly.

Today, I know everything about the riding: the beauty of its scenery in every season, the lives of the Atikamekw people, the dirt roads leading to their villages, the importance of the train in remote regions, the difficulties that forestry workers are having, the factories that are closing, and the communities that are trying to attract tourists as a way of breathing new live into municipalities that have lost their lustre.

We travelled from one end of the riding to the other many times. We supported the festival in St-Tite and the tomcod fishing festival. We also supported the arts, including the wonderful Notre-Dame-de-la-Présentation church, which is home to the works of Ozias Leduc.

It is always a pleasure to meet with my constituents in a variety of different circumstances. I noticed that, whether we live in the city or the country, we are all human beings with feelings who are ultimately trying to make our dreams a reality.

I would be remiss if, before closing, I did not thank all of my staff from the bottom of my heart.

Anne Cleary is an experienced member of my staff in Ottawa who has been working on the Hill for 20 years. She is very organized and always available to help.

Every day, my researcher, Jacqueline Froidefond, gave me a press review of everything that was happening in the riding.

Nicole Duchesne and Mance Vallée had to be independent, since they worked in remote offices and were required to make arrangements on their own and often attend events I was not able to attend.

Jocelyne Rivest and Christine Boisvert shared time at the main office in Grand-Mère. I have heard so many good things about how welcoming they were to constituents.

Lastly, Roger Le Blanc, my political assistant, took on all kinds of duties, namely managing employees, drafting, analyzing bills, and always travelling with me in the riding. I do not know what I would have done without his political insight, his analyses and his good judgment. Thank you for everything, Roger. I will leave here having learned a lot.

Members not seeking re-election to the 42nd ParliamentGovernment Orders

June 9th, 2015 / 8:05 p.m.


Rob Anders Conservative Calgary West, AB

Mr. Chair, I thank the people of Calgary West for the honour of representing them for the years I have been in this place. I am going to roll through a list of people who deserve thanks.

I thank my parents who taught me to read from a newspaper at the age of three and would let me stay up late watching the TV evening news if I could answer the who, the what, the where, the when, and the why of the stories. Thanks to my grandmother, who baked cookies for my campaigns.

Thanks to the Prime Minister, one of the few parliamentarians who can interpret a 23-variable macroeconomic formula, has cut taxes, and steered our ship of state longer than any other Conservative in my lifetime. My thanks go to Preston Manning, who prophetically said that we come to Ottawa wanting to change Parliament in big ways, but we leave the House of Commons having changed Canadian government in modest ways.

I thank Deborah Grey for inspiring the troops to charge over the hill; and John Reynolds, the alpha male of parliamentarians, who let me have his office in Centre Block.

Thanks to Grant Hill. Like John Hamm, the premier of Nova Scotia, he brought his gentle charm and bedside manner as a country doctor to this place. I thank Stockwell Day for his humour and for making us smile.

None of us can survive in this place without having a board and an association that support us. I have been lucky to have many wonderful people.

They include Stephen and Cynthia Butt, foster parents who have helped raise dozens of little Canadians; Andrew Constantinidis and his daughter Alexandra who was taken door knocking at the age of six with Tony Abbott who is now the Prime Minister of Australia; Colin and Meredith Poole and their entire family; Wilmer and Margaret Doerksen, for cutting short their vacations to help campaign; Gail Pronk for her infectious smile; Bob Tennant, who supported me despite my banging his car with my Chevy Suburban on Crowchild Trail during the first nomination; Bob Caddell and his family's support; the Einarssons for hosting events at their lovely home; the DeRinzy family; Catharine Marshall; the Elliotts for their support and efforts over the years; Linda and Don Coward; Chuck Benedict and George Marks, who wanted to run my sign operation out of my old garage after it had been bought by somebody else in the second campaign; Ron Pearpoint, who always appreciated our door-knocking him; John Bleile; and Phil Underwood.

We also have many staff members to thank in this place, who so many times pull us through scrapes and do so much work behind the scenes to make us look much better than we actually are. They include Trevor Cazemeir; Angela Ford; Jennifer Mcfarlane; Dustin van Vugt; Brian McAdam, for his speech writing; Chris Struc; Russ Kuykendall, also good with his writing.

Thanks go to my roommates over the years, who helped in various campaigns. They include my first campaign manager, John O'Neil, as well as John Carpay, Jessica Maga, Nillo Edwards, and Lanny Cardow.

I thank my friends in the House leader's office, Darlene Stone and Colin Thackery.

I thank my friends from school, Stephanie Kusie and Brian Crowder.

I thank my friends in the Prime Minister's Office: Andrea Smotra, Brock Stephenson, Nigel Hannaford, Will Lymer, Hamish Marshall, Ray Novak, Jenni Byrne, Meredith McDonald, Ian Brodie, Patrick Muttart, and Sean Speer.

I thank the other friends of liberty: the National Firearms Association, of which I am a life member, and Ray Laycock, Mack MacDonald, and Trevor Grover; the Gun Owners of Canada and Nathan Cook; the Firearms Institute for Rational Education and Todd Brown and Wade Myall; the University of Calgary Firearms Club and Henry, Delano, and Adam. As well there is the Canadian Taxpayers Federation with Andy Crooks, Michael Binnion, and Sean McKinsley. I thank the National Citizens Coalition, which was my first real job, and David Somerville, Gerry Nicholls, Mark Poole, Elizabeth Robertson, Miriam Alford, Jeff Ball, and Arthur Finkelstein. Thanks go to the Ontario Landowners Association with Russ Hillier, a great campaign manager. Thanks to the Conservative Leadership Foundation for the best training this country has seen with Karma MacGregor, Mark Spiro, and many others.

I thank those who fought the battle on counter-terrorism: John Thompson of the Mackenzie Institute; those in Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, James Cox and the Bewick Family; the Royal Alberta United Services Institute, with Dick Westbury who is the personification of the finest of our British heritage, regaling us with tales of William Pitt the Younger and Lord Mountbatten of Burma; the Governor General's Foot Guards and Will Lymer; the Royal Canadian Air Force with Stan Goddard, Bruce Pultz, and John Melbourne; representing the veterans, Harry James, Travis Smith, Don Leonardo, and Jamie Filstein; and my Jewish friends, the Levant and Bogach families and Barry Bristman.

Over the years, I have reached out to a number of groups that have all been victims of communism, which is something near and dear to my family and our history. There are Ukrainians, like Tony Reznowski, and Tara Katrusiak, now Baran; Hungarians, like Joseph Zamuda; Poles, like Jean Mullen, who is one of those rare volunteers I could give a list to and she would actually phone from home and get it done, and beg for more, bless her, and Artur Pawlowski and his family.

There are the Tibetans who have helped me in my cause: Tenzin Khangsar and his family, the Dorjee family, Chungtak Tsering, Tenzin Lhadon, Tseden Dhongopa. There are a lot of Tenzins and Tsedens in Tibetan, and the reason for that is that is actually the name of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

There are those in the Vietnamese community, like Bich, Peter, and Giao; members of the Falun Gong, like Xun, Grace, and Ian; writers at Epoch Times, like Lucy; and South Koreans Katie Ahn, David Lee, and Young Choi.

I thank those from the Venezuelan community, like Nhora Romero, who helped to sell 61 memberships, Josue Ramirez, and Daniel Rodriguez, and those in the Albanian communuity, like the Mino Family.

From provincial Conservative politics I thank Ted Morton, Rick Mclver, Jon Lord, and Stan Schumacher.

I thank those in the Wildrose Alliance: Tim Dyck, Dustin Nau, Shane McAllister, Greg Schell, and David Price.

From the Sir Winston Churchill Society I thank Randy and Val Iversen, Devin Iversen, and Bill Iversen, who helped me hone and work on my debating skills over the years.

From the Progressive Group for Independent Business I thank Craig Chandler and the people he collected over the years.

I thank those who fought in the battle for preventing the moral decay inside western civilization itself: from the Calgary Police, Service, Art Hanger and Maria; and from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, George Jones, who cast his ballot despite his difficulties with cancer.

I thank victims rights advocates, like George Bears and Stu and Marg Garrioch, who asked me to attend the Parole Board with them.

I thank those in the Family Life Centre, like Elizabeth Shaw and Trassa Van Ommen Kloeke; those involved with My Canada, who were making sure that young people got active in politics, evangelical youth Faytene Grusechl and Valerie Josephine Trudel; those with the Canada Family Action Coalition, Curt Storring and Richard Dur, and those with Campaign Life Coalition, Jack Fonseca, Johanne Brownrigg, and Sharon Rose.

I thank the many Catholic supporters I have had over the years, including Father Leo Boyle, for his Irish mirth; Bishop Fred Henry, for his strength and stands; Father Wojciech Zbigniew Jarzecki; Peter Csillag; Maureen Lawrence, for her insights on the separate board of education; Eva Cain, because she could enter data like the wind; Chris, Debra, and Simon Goldring and their entire family for preserving the Latin mass in Calgary; Nolan Beckie and his family; and Paul Hamnett and his family.

I thank those involved in the Knights of Columbus, like George Wahl and Dan Larabie; my friends inside the Christian Reformed Church, like Margaret Ostenbrink, Hermina Dykxhoorn, Martin Laubser, the Slagter family, and the Coutts family; those in the Latter Day Saints, like Devaughn Fraser, Vance Gough, Emily Ady, David Salmon, who greeted youngsters in politics so warmly at my first Reform Party meetings, Wayne Bourne, for powerfully and wonderfully singing O Canada at our town halls, Randy Thorsteinson, and Kelly Swerid.

I thank those homeschoolers who have helped out over the years, like Tammy Vestrum and Bridget Houston, who with their children stuffed tremedous numbers of envelopes; and supporters of the Ambrose University College, like the Van Seters family and the Striebl family.

I thank my former colleagues in this place, Myron Thompson, Ted White, Darrel Stinson, Lee Morrison, and Ken Epp. I never doubted how they would vote, and they were rocks of men.

Finally, I thank Senator Doug Finley, who was the best soldier for the Conservative cause.

I will wrap up with this:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Members not seeking re-election to the 42nd ParliamentGovernment Orders

8:15 p.m.


LaVar Payne Conservative Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Chair, for the last seven years it has been a great honour for me and, indeed, a privilege to serve as a member of Parliament for the Medicine Hat constituency. All good things come to an end, and these are the last few weeks of Parliament. I want to take a short time to share with members some of the memories of this place, memories that I will always cherish.

Allow me first to thank my constituents, those who voted for me and those who did not. For all the electors of the Medicine Hat constituency, I offer my profound gratitude and praise for each and every one of them. Being a member of Parliament in Canada is a big job as it requires representing tens of thousands of citizens in the House of Commons.

Over the years, I have done my best and I have always thought about what their wishes would be when it comes time to speak here or to vote on important legislation. I hope they understand that I always acted in the way I thought would be most beneficial for the citizens of the Medicine Hat constituency. After all, if it had not been for them, I would not be here today. I extend my eternal thanks.

I would also like to thank all the members of my EDA board, all the volunteers who helped me get elected on two occasions. I will always remember with great gratitude the employees of the House of Commons, who are among the most professional in the world.

First, with regard to the security service staff here, I have never seen a more professional organization in my several years in the private sector before going into public life. They are the best of the best and always do their utmost to keep us safe. They were tested on October 22. We know they did their very best, preventing any further bloodshed from happening that day and saving an untold number of lives. I thank them from the bottom of my heart and ask that they please keep doing what they are doing.

For the pages who keep this place running every day, I do not know where we would be without their assistance. I have seen many pages come and go and hope my colleagues have made their time in the House an enjoyable one.

For the translators, who do a critical job and have a very high-stress career, I have a lot of respect for them and thank them for all their hard work.

For the technical and support staff who keep the chamber running like a well-oiled machine, keep up the hard work and I thank them.

I would also like to thank the Speaker, who works hard every day to ensure we are able to have our free and open deliberations in this place and that our rights as duly elected members are always held in the highest regard. He will always have my gratitude.

I know I have been a bit of a heckler at times, but it has been an outstanding privilege. Over the years, I have been fortunate to have excellent staff who have kept me on the straight and narrow. They were always there when I needed them. I want to thank them for all their hard work over the years. It has been a wild ride. Specifically, I would like to thank Trudi, Karen, Sue, Holly, Andrew, Blair and Jeff and the many interns who I have the joy of hosting in my office over the years.

I thank my children, Scott and Carmen, Darcy and Jennifer, Nicole and Jerry and Todd and Brandy for standing by me. I also thank my grandchildren for their support, Conner, Abby, Carter, Mason, Jessica, Chelsea, Megan and Tristan, along with my sister and her husband, Rena and Clayton.

I would be remiss if I did not say that I could never have accomplished so much as I have without the ongoing support of my partner, my dear wife Micheline. She has always believed in me and her encouragement means that the people of Medicine Hat have been served. I thank her.

I want to take a few seconds to highlight a few of the issues that have meant a lot to me and my constituents over the years.

First, there was the Medicine Hat Family Leisure Centre upgrades, which I was proud to deliver on behalf of the Government of Canada through our economic action plan. This was a $10-million project dedicated to the improvement of an important place in city of Medicine Hat. I am happy I could play a part in that, as well as in all the millions of dollars of funding right across our constituency.

There has been the port of Wild Horse, which is an ongoing concern for the people of the Medicine Hat constituency. There has been some progress on this with pilot projects for extended hours at the port. I have worked hard with my colleagues and interested parties, both here and in the State of Montana, to see that we continue making progress on this file. I am glad we were able to make some progress there. It is incumbent on our officials to continue to advocate for this important crossing in the coming years.

There was the issue of the greater sage grouse.

A number of my constituents worked with my office and with me over the last year and a half or so to bring many of the concerns and issues to the table. We must never forget that these folks are hard-working, everyday Canadians who make an important contribution to our local, regional and national economies. I was honoured to stand up for them and speak out when it was necessary to do so.

CFB Suffield has been an important part of my constituency as the Canadian Forces base that also serves as home to the British Army Training Unit, BATUS. CFB Suffield is an important asset to our military capabilities, and it has been my pleasure to support it over the years as the member of Parliament for Medicine Hat, along with the Defence Research and Development Canada, Suffield Research Centre. I look forward to continuing to have a relationship with the good people there after my term ends.

There have been countless pieces of legislation that have gone through this House. It was my first election in 2008, and taking part in the democratic process, being able to contribute to our democratic system is one of the most humbling experiences I have ever had.

This is such a special place. How lucky we are as Canadians that we can have a free and open democracy, a system where everybody can play a part, without fear of violence or oppression. I think we often take things for granted, and I hope that we continue to be one of the best parliamentary democratic countries in the world. If we allow the system to erode, we will allow the independent voice of democratically elected members to lose its value, and we will cause this place to lose its value and meaning.

To those members I have interacted with over the years, I thank them for their advice, wise counsel and assistance. We are sort of like a family here. I know that it can become hyper-partisan on the worst days, and I might have been part of that, but I have also seen numerous occasions where we have been united for the good of Canada.

I will never forget how we came together in the wake of the loss of our beloved friend, Jim Flaherty, offering our heartfelt and sincere tributes. We need to see more of this, and I hope in the future, as I watch the proceedings on CPAC, that I will see more of this spirit of collegiality here. We would be better off because of it.

I want to give a word of thanks to my colleagues in the Conservative Party of Canada caucus, both here and in the other place, and to tell them to keep up the hard work, and to keep delivering jobs, growth and prosperity for our nation. I appreciate each and every one of them, and will remember them with great fondness.

Finally, I offer a word of thanks to the Right Hon. Prime Minister. He is a great man who cares deeply about Canada and about its people, and about Canada's status as a world-class nation. I thank him for his advice, wisdom and guidance over the years and for believing in me. It has made me a better, more effective representative for my constituents. Canada needs him. We need him. I wish him all the best in the upcoming federal election.

I thank my colleagues for listening. To those who, like me, are retiring in a short while, I bid them an enjoyable retirement and a relaxing summer. I will miss this place along with my colleagues.

God bless all of them, and may God bless Canada.

Members not seeking re-election to the 42nd ParliamentGovernment Orders

8:25 p.m.


Joy Smith Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Chair, it is my pleasure tonight to give my farewell speech here in the beautiful Parliament of Canada. These past 11 years have been a very interesting time here in Canada.

I have to thank first of all my beautiful family. My son Edward actually inspired me to come to Parliament because of his work in the ICE unit, because of his heart for those who could not help themselves, the trafficking victims and the child abuse cases he worked on. As my son, he turned my heart as a mother and subsequently the nation's heart was turned, because in this place I was able to come and represent the survivors of human trafficking. I thank my son Michael, who is a brilliant young man; Janet who is a top supporter of everything that I have done; Natasha, who is absolutely creative and brilliant; Alexandra, of course, who does so much on my foundation and who is truly a wonderfully caring human being; and Jenna. Those are my six children, and there are my grandchildren.

I am eternally grateful to my family for supporting everything I have done since I came to Parliament Hill. Of course, I thank my husband. He has suffered cancer through a large part of my stay here over the 11 years. I thank him for believing in my work and inspiring me to carry on.

Also, I thank my EDA who supported me in everything I have done, especially John Feldsted and Kaz Malkiewicz. John Feldsted was the president of my EDA for three years and continues to do much to further the cause of the political side of what I do.

I thank all the people across the country for their prayers as I did my work to bring laws to this place to combat human trafficking. Those prayers mean a lot because first in my life is my God. He is my strength. Second is my family, and everything else comes underneath that.

There are three people who I have to recognize as well: Brian McConaghy of Ratanak, who is my brother in terms of fighting human trafficking here in Canada and worldwide; Jamie McIntosh, who started International Justice Mission; and Benjamin Perrin, who started The Future Group. It is like the group of three. These people have always been with me through the many years, even before I came to Parliament and certainly during the time that I spent here.

Most of all, I would like to thank the survivors of human trafficking. When I came here I had a vision to stop human trafficking. I had a vision to get laws through to protect the victims of human trafficking. I did put two laws through that made Canadian history, thanks to the grace of God. They are survivors like Timea Nagy, Natasha Falle, Bridget Perrier, Trisha Baptie, just to name a few. They are absolutely amazing young women.

Around this place, to my colleagues in the Conservative caucus and my colleagues across the way, there have been real friendships welded together because of the common good. I believe everyone in the House has the good of the country at heart.

There is a man who sat in our lobby for years, John Holtby. He was such an encouragement to me. He was a brilliant man who cared very deeply about the issues and about my work.

There is a young lady, Kelly Williams, who worked with me, and on me as a matter of fact, when I was chair of the health committee. She did a lot of work around the committees.

Of course, there are the security people, the restaurant people, the pages and all who make Parliament work.

When I stop to look back at why I came here, for me, I came to stop human trafficking in our country. If it was not for the survivors who use their bravery to speak out, if it was not for ministers, like the Minister of Justice, and others, I would never have been able to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish.

When I think about the leaders in this Parliament, I know there have been many who have been very strongly affected by the human trafficking issue here in our country and who stood up in this Parliament to protect the most vulnerable. I thank them for that.

I thank Susan Finlay, my prayer partner. She has been my prayer partner for years, and she has always been with me. In my down times and triumphant times, she was always there.

This Parliament is a place where we change the laws of the land. There are very talented decision makers in this place, and often we do not see the small things that are there. To me, especially, the small things but very important things and people are the people like my staff.

Joel Oosterman, my chief of staff, and his wife Kristy have been with me for a very long time. I love them like family. Marian Jaworski, who runs my constituency office, is just an amazing person. I have to say that those are the people who saw the vision with me and who helped me. Joel is one of the most talented writers I have ever come across. If anyone needs anything, even a kidney, ask Marian. He will find it. He is that kind of staff member. He is just an incredibly honest man who stands above many.

All these people come together for such a time as this, to stop human trafficking here in Canada. God rest her soul, my mother always said that we should leave the world a better place and I hope that, because I have been here, that has occurred.

I have to say that there are many laws we have here, such as Bill C-268, regarding mandatory minimum sentences for traffickers of children age 18 years and under. There is Bill C-310, where we reached the long arm of Canadian law into other countries when Canadian citizens or permanent residents go to traffic or exploit others. We can now bring them back to Canada.

My heart started to really look to leaving this place on December 6, 2014. On that day, we passed Bill C-36, on which I worked with the Minister of Justice. For the first time in Canadian history, the buying of sex is illegal in this country. Now, we are at a point where we can press the button and have a new start. At that point in my career, I knew I had to leave this place.

I knew I had to do something else, so I am working on my foundation, the Joy Smith Foundation. I will continue to do that, I believe, until the end of time. The foundation is going very well. I have had hundreds of lovely letters from around the country from victims who have said thanks and that the foundation has helped them to restart their lives. What could be better than that?

I have a book coming out before Christmas, called I Just Didn't Know. All of the proceeds will be going to my foundation. I really hope the book touches the hearts of Canadians and people across the country who read it, because it has real life stories in it. Brave survivors have agreed to tell their stories, put their pictures in it, and explain how traffickers are able to lure young people.

It is my very great honour to have served and to continue to serve my country in this great place, the Parliament of Canada. It is rare to have the privilege of doing that and it is rare to have met all of the people in my caucus who I call friends and who are astoundingly strong leaders and decision-makers in this country.

I thank God for the opportunity that I had here, and I look forward to rekindling and keeping those friendships along the way as I go on to my other career.

Members not seeking re-election to the 42nd ParliamentGovernment Orders

8:35 p.m.


James Lunney Conservative Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Chair, it is a great pleasure to rise tonight perhaps for the last time as the House winds down the 41st Parliament. It means a lot to stand among my colleagues here this evening. Some people have given great speeches tonight. A lot of great members are leaving the House. We know there are a lot of great ones sitting with us tonight who will remain here, and others who will come to reinforce the House after the next election.

I want to thank the Speaker and our House leader for the opportunity to speak tonight.

I was first elected to the 37th Parliament and following that November 27, to the 38th, the 39th, the 40th, and now this, the 41st Parliament. At the time, on November 27, there were 17 new members on the Canadian Alliance side, enough to boost our numbers to 66 and achieve official opposition status.

Nanaimo—Alberni is a beautiful part of Vancouver Island. It is covers nearly 9,000 square kilometres. There are 127,000 constituents. It is one of the most beautiful natural settings to live, work or play. Vancouver Island boasts the mildest climate in Canada. We enjoy natural beauty afforded by mountains, oceans, beaches and one of the richest resources and life experience in the human resources of our amazing retirement community, including some members of the House who live as my constituents now. Deb Gray, Randy White, and Brian Peckford, the former premier of Newfoundland, are all constituents in my riding. I expect that for some of the members who are now retiring, there is room as well, at least to come and visit, if they are not planning to stay.

It is an immense honour to represent an electoral district in Canada and to take a place here in the national house of debate. For most of us, there is an enormous team effort involved and therefore a lot of people to thank for our electoral success.

Many Canadians will be unaware of the challenge to relationships that federal politics demands. We have heard a bit tonight from members about the importance of family. I want to recognize the love and support of my wife Helen throughout these 14 years. She has been a rock. We could not have done what we did without the sacrifices of my wife. We very much appreciate that steadfastness that made it possible for us to do what we had to do to get elected, to stay elected and to serve our community.

As a Christian, I want give thanks to God for directing the life path that is before me and giving me the opportunity to serve my community. Lifelong service and learning is a commitment that has sustained me for more than half a lifetime, and I look forward to taking the life lessons from these amazing 15 years here into the next chapter of my life.

It has been a delight to work with so many great Canadians: the Hon. Stockwell Day, the party leader who took us to official opposition status; the Prime Minister who united the legacy parties along with the hon. member for Central Nova, the Minister of Justice, who spoke brilliantly tonight; the many stellar people who I have worked with in our expanded Conservative caucus; the cabinet; and many across the aisle in other parties. They have all contributed to one of the great chapters of my life. I want to thank each and every one of them.

At home, the legacy party and the CPC members, the Electoral District Association supporters, our campaign teams and workers who pulled together for a common cause are so much appreciated. No electoral success would have been possible without them.

My office staff were foundational to our success. There were many in three offices over 15 years, beginning with Gayle Goodman, who joined me from my chiropractic office; Ann Bell; Jim Chutka; Dave McEachern; Kathy Roycroft; Patti Pearce; Pamela Dransfield; Jean Farnsworth; and Chris Mellin, along with a few short or part-time assistants. However, all have served with the “constituent-first service model”, going the extra mile to find answers in an often challenging, complicated maze of services and expectations. In Ottawa, Anne Anders and Bobby Wollock have been our anchors. I want to thank each and every one for a tremendous team effort.

The one person who stands out above all for special recognition is Paula Peterson. She exemplifies the attributes that I see in so many of my staff members. Paula ran three of our five campaigns. She served as the EDA president for many years. Paula came out of retirement to take on the senior position in my constituency office for the finishing lap. Paula is in demand by persons at all three senior levels of electoral office. Her good nature, organizational skills and political know-how bring out the best in people. She is a lover and a giver, tirelessly serving our community, even when she is not in the spotlight. I thank Paula for her lifetime of service and, with our EDA and our office staff, for a united commitment to making our community and our world a better place.

Health care is a passion for me and I spent my entire post-secondary career in pursuit of understanding human health issues and relieving human suffering. I am grateful to the University of Manitoba and the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College for the foundation in developing professional and academic skills to serve.

My Motion No. 501 on sustainable health care had its first hour of debate just a couple of weeks ago. It is about employing innovation, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness to achieve sustainable health care. Wellness promotion and disease prevention strategies save immense costs of managing high-needs patients. The motion is scheduled to make it through this session, but with changes in schedule, it may not. If it does not, I hope to have left a path and ideas for others to build on. We have the knowledge today to release billions of dollars back into our economy by examining and promoting low-cost, effective health strategies. Let us not miss the opportunity of behalf of Canadians to do so.

I recently raised alarms about those among us as Canadians who seek to rebrand our nation with a godless image. I leave this place after fifteen years and five elections. I urge members to take note of this serious assault on the foundations of our nation.

Our Charter of Rights and Freedoms acknowledges that Canada was founded on a belief in the supremacy of God. Our parliamentary precinct has scripture inscribed in the stones, on the Peace Tower and throughout the Memorial Chapel, the heart of the Peace Tower.

Famously in the wood over the doors in the fourth floor shadow cabinet room are carved the words, “Fear God” and “Honour the King”. Some of us served in opposition and saw that regularly.

Those who are determined to change that piece by piece and stone by stone to recreate Canada in a secular godless image propose to use their influence, their positions of authority, their money and our courts to this end. The recent Supreme Court ruling on prayer at city council in Saguenay has sent repercussions across the country and greatly advanced the godless rebranding exercise. This ruling basically redefines freedom of religion as freedom from religion. Big banks and corporate CEOs have used their money and influence to advocate against a Christian law school at Trinity Western University. Medical licensing authorities have unilaterally expunged doctors' long-standing conscience provisions, forcing costly legal challenges.

The most published and read book in the history of the world is in fact a record of God's dealing with man from the beginning of time. It has advice for those who despise God's counsel and oppose his purposes:

The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom...

In fact, it says on the Peace Tower:

Where there is no vision, the people perish...

It also says:

Remove not the ancient landmark... not many teachers...

Woe unto those who teach men to err.

Woe unto those that call evil good and good evil.

Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.

The world the godless would build is a world without hope, a world of expanding darkness. It is our godly inheritance that has made Canada the great success it has been. Apart from Him, we have no remedy for sin; we have no moral code to build on except His precepts. Godlessness is and will be accompanied by increasing social disorder, violence, lawlessness and depravity; it is spreading around the world. Colleagues, let us keep the lights on in Canada.

It is not the Christian Right, if such can be found in Canada, that they seek to overthrow. It is the God of heaven and earth, who has been building His kingdom throughout the ages and evermore in our turbulent times.

If we reject His loving kindness and so great a salvation, we will surely meet Him as judge and those who set themselves against His purposes can expect to hasten the encounter. For those who would destroy the foundations of our great nations, I say, fear God. He knows your thoughts, your address and your expiry date. He has invested heavily in Canada and He will defend His investments out of love and compassion for our nation.

May those who love the king take note and engage accordingly and may God keep our land glorious and free.

Mr. Chair, I want to thank you for the opportunity to speak tonight and colleagues for their service to our country, to the Prime Minister, to our party and to Canada. Friends, we know as we leave this place that we do so with a lot of friendships that we will take with us. We never say goodbye to our friends. We expect to stay connected. We will stay engaged in some fashion or another in wanting to see Canada become all that it can be. We wish success to those who remain behind. We will believe, we will pray for them and we will do whatever we can to see Canada remain successful.

I wish those who remain the most success in what they do here, and for those who are moving on, very successful pursuits in what they take on in the future.

I thank my colleagues very much.

Members not seeking re-election to the 42nd ParliamentGovernment Orders

8:45 p.m.


The Deputy Chair Conservative Barry Devolin

Resuming debate, any other members wish to make perhaps a surprise announcement this evening?

There being no further members rising, pursuant to an order made Wednesday, May 27, 2015, I must now interrupt the proceedings. The debate on the motion will resume on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 at the ordinary hour of daily adjournment. The committee will rise and I will leave the chair.

Members not seeking re-election to the 42nd ParliamentGovernment Orders

8:45 p.m.


The Acting Speaker Conservative Barry Devolin

It being 8:48 p.m., this House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 2 p.m., pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).

(The House adjourned at 8:48 p.m.)