Mr. Speaker, after meeting with the Ethics Commissioner today, I have informed the Prime Minister that I am resigning from cabinet effective immediately. Furthermore, I will be resigning as the member of Parliament for Calgary Centre-North by the end of 2010.
When I entered federal politics in 2001, I made a commitment that my time in politics would last 8 to 10 years. It has now, remarkably, been 9 years, and it is time for me to pursue new opportunities outside of public life.
I have, therefore, today accepted a position with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce as the vice-chairman of the bank and as the senior executive vice-president of the bank effective January 1, 2011.
This career opportunity will enable me to continue having an impact on Canadian society, but in a different way. My decision to leave was made in part because of the unique opportunity I was offered, and I am very excited to take up this challenge.
My continued support for the Prime Minister and for the government and my lifelong support of the Conservative Party of Canada, like my commitment to our country, is unwavering. I am proud of the accomplishments of Prime Minister Harper's government. I am proud of my contributions as Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Minister of Industry and Minister of the Environment.
I want to extend my sincere thanks to the people of Calgary Centre-North for their faith and support since 2004 and to all those who have contributed their efforts to my campaigns.
I thank the Prime Minister, in closing, for the opportunity to have served the people of Canada and to have been in his cabinet. It has been my honour to work with the Prime Minister, with my cabinet colleagues, my caucus colleagues and indeed with all members of the House of Commons.