Mr. Speaker, I rise today to say farewell.
Might I say that I have never lost the sense of awe and privilege that I felt the very first time that I entered this chamber.
I came here with the conviction that a good government can be a force and a constructive tool for Canadians, and that our country can provide a unique example to the world. My view has not changed.
I have served in this place as Minister of Industry, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Finance, and as Deputy Prime Minister, great privileges bestowed by a prime minister to whom I shall always be grateful. But the greatest privilege was bestowed by the voters of Ottawa South who on four occasions entrusted me to take my seat in this place.
There is a time for every purpose under the heaven and I have other purposes to fulfill. I thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for their sacrifice and commitment, and my family for their love, encouragement and tolerance.
May God continue to bless Canada.