Mr. Speaker, after six elections and close to 19 years in the House, it is time for me to leave. While this has been an extremely difficult decision, it is the right decision, as it will allow me to spend more time with my family, especially my new grandson, Kaden.
My wife Darlene, my son Ryan and my daughter Kristen and her husband Matt have patiently and stoically stood by my side since November 2000, when I was first elected. For that and their unwavering support and love, saying “thank you” just would not be enough. I will, over the coming years, try my best to repay such a huge debt of gratitude and make up for lost time.
I thank the people of Battle River—Crowfoot for the faith they placed in me to represent them. I tried my utmost to always respect and truthfully represent their views and concerns in Ottawa. I will miss all their letters, emails and phone calls and our in-person discussions and debates.
I have made many friends during this time, especially in the campaigns. I thank Neil and Leona Thorogood and Bruce and Sylvia Dahl, who are just a few of the many lifelong friends we have made.