Mr. Speaker, that was the first time, in my time in this Parliament, that I have seen you a little uncertain when you first rose from the chair.
I want to thank the Speaker and you, Mr. Speaker, for your tremendous contributions as the hon. member for Simcoe North, who, in a few short weeks, will become the longest-serving Deputy Speaker in the history of this Parliament. However, most important, every time you sat in that chair, you brought the level of decorum and debate in this House to a higher level. You have presided with unmatched dignity and professionalism.
He has presided over the House with dignity and remained impartial. I am proud of my colleague and friend, an extraordinary Speaker.
We often, as a courtesy, Mr. Speaker, refer to other members as honourable, but few deserve that title as much as you. The only regret with your retirement will be that you served as the longest-serving Deputy Speaker and that we did not get the chance to see you as the full Speaker.
As one quick note, when I was elected in a by-election and gave my first speech in the House, I received a note from the chair occupant, a note congratulating me on my speech and commenting on the delivery. It was from you, Mr. Speaker. I was a new rookie MP getting a note of encouragement from the chair occupant. I keep that note to this day because it embodies the professionalism and the high ethical standard to which you hold yourself in this House.
I want to wish you and Heather an incredible retirement. You have left Canada's Parliament in a wonderful place due to your honourable contribution, so on behalf of the opposition, the Conservative Party, your party, I would like to say thank you.