Madam Speaker, it has been an honour to serve. My political career began long before I was first elected.
In 1995, I swam the 1,400-kilometre length of the Fraser River to draw attention to the issues impacting the health of the watershed. That swim changed my life and started me on a path that led me here.
In 2002, I was elected to Coquitlam City Council.
In 2009, thanks to NDP Leader Jack Layton, I was elected a member of Parliament.
Now I am returning to the work that brought me here in the first place. The Fraser watershed initiative is a multi-year campaign to heal and protect the entire watershed, one-quarter of British Columbia, bringing together first nations, local governments, NGOs and others.
While I am excited about getting back to work on the Fraser, I cannot leave this place without saying thanks to my NDP colleagues, friends, staff, volunteers, family, and especially my wife Lynda.
I thank the MPs whom I have worked with over the years, from all parties, as well as the guards, the clerks and all the staff on the Hill.
I also want to thank the people of Port Moody, Coquitlam, Anmore and Belcarra. It has truly been an honour to serve.