I stand corrected, Mr. Speaker. I appreciate the point of order. We will fix that in the blues.
Indeed, in this place, the member was successful because he was ready for hard work. He had integrity and had a very good attitude, which was well displayed through his frequent interjections in question period and cute little asides in the halls as we passed one another. Saying that he was ready for hard work, integrity and good attitude is great advice for anyone who is entering public life.
Third, Claire and Rose should know that their dad was proud to be a politician. The member for Kings—Hants delivered a tribute to our former colleague, another great politician, Jim Flaherty. He quoted a portion of a speech by Theodore Roosevelt and stated:
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.
On that morning when we honoured Jim Flaherty, those were words that many of us took to heart and were grateful for.
When asked why he used that quote, the member for Kings—Hants said:
It embodies a respect for those who roll up their sleeves and enter public service with the best intentions and public interests. If you’re going to enter public life and give it your all, you’re going to be in the arena described by Roosevelt. You could say “in the arena” doesn’t necessarily apply to every politician. There may be people who get elected and who don’t necessarily push as hard or go as far as they could. Who get comfortable.
I am sure many of us would agree that the member for Kings—Hants was not one of those persons.
At the end of the day, when he talked about the role and responsibility of being a politician, he put it very clearly and frankly when he said:
...we spend far too much time in politics debasing that which we do and who we are. It annoys me the degree to which some politicians go to say, “I’m not a politician”.... I am a politician. That’s what I do. And anyone who puts their name on a ballot becomes a politician. And it should be something that we ourselves honour and we encourage others to honour.
Finally, Claire and Rose should know that leaving this place is not easy, and he made the conscious decision to be more present in their lives. He said, “I’ve gone at this 120 per cent for almost 22 years, working evenings and weekends and putting my job first”.
I will miss the wit and humour of the member for Kings—Hants, but I respect and admire—and maybe am a little bit envious of—his decision to be with his family, and I wish him very well.