Mr. Speaker, it is a great honour for me to say a few words on this truly moving occasion, because the member for Bonavista—Burin—Trinity is not only a colleague, but a dear, close friend.
I was privileged to work with the member for Bonavista—Burin—Trinity in the 41st Parliament. I remain personally grateful for many kindnesses, not least of which was the use of a couch during the 62 hours of the filibuster over the Canada Post lockout. I had a very nice nap in her office, and no one else noticed that I looked like I might be needing one.
There were many acts of kindness, but what sticks with me so much is that at the time, she was so busy. We have heard from other members—accurately, generously, and graciously—what kind of job she did and what kind of person she is. As busy as she was, she never adopted the mantel of, “I am busy and important. Who are you?” I am not naming anyone in particular, but we all know people who when they get to an elevated position are suddenly like that. That never happened with the hon. member for Bonavista—Burin—Trinity. She never failed to have time for colleagues and time for friends.
When the cancer came back, and all of us who know and love her were wrenched by it, she was consistently courageous. She reassured us that she was okay, and she showed up day after day, even at times when I really wished she could go home and have a rest.
Those of us who say goodbye to her today do so with tears in our eyes and love in our hearts, because this is a member who will continue to make a difference at home. The reasons she is stepping down now are entirely just and proper. As loved as she is in her riding, she is walking away from a job she loves for the best possible reason: being a good mom.
Thank you so much.