Mr. Guy Lauzon (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, CPC)
Mr. Speaker, I have a couple of hard acts to follow.
I want to start by telling parliamentarians of this wonderful, blessed life that I have had. I am a very fortunate man.
I have been blessed in many ways in my life of 75 short years. Two of my blessings have been the wonderful wives that I have had. My first wife, Carol, was a superb mother who lovingly raised our two children, Jeffrey and Lonna Lea, to be the most incredible parents that anyone could ever have. I am the proud grandfather of seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. It is hard to believe that a young man like me could be a great-grandfather.
After my wife, Carol, passed away in 1988, it was a barren time but my two children and I became very close friends. The bond grew closer and closer. I stayed widowed for 17 years until a wonderful lady by the name of Frances came into my life. We met in October of 1999.
I had never been part of any political party, belonged to a political organization or even attended a political meeting at that time, but somehow I was inspired to put my name in as a candidate for the Canadian Alliance Party of Canada in Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry. Believe it or not, I spent about two months on the road with my brother, Ed, and my wife, Frances, or “constant companion” as the press used to refer to her. We used to have a dog and pony show where we would go to small communities around the riding of Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, put an ad in the paper, have a meeting where eight or 10 people would come out and listen to Guy give his wonderful speech, and then we would sell two or three memberships. Eventually, we sold enough memberships to win the Canadian Alliance nomination in 2000.
I did not know a thing about campaigning, but in 2000, we came within 2,900 votes of being successful. However, I got the bug and from then on I decided I wanted to be a member of Parliament.
I was dating Frances at that time and date nights became church suppers and every social event that was going on anywhere in Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry where there were more than a dozen people. That was our date. I would take Frances there and spend the big money, and we would have a church supper, have great pie and those kinds of things, and then I would take her home. However, that was successful. I did that for four years and, believe it or not, in June 28, 2004, I had the good fortune to be elected the member of Parliament for Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry.
Everyone in the House knows, but cannot express to other people, how exhilarating it is to be elected a member of Parliament, but it is also so humbling. When I realized that my peers had said “Guy, we trust you”, it was the most humbling, wonderful experience that I have ever had. The past 15 years and four re-elections since have been a true blessing.
I served as deputy whip for a period and also as the parliamentary secretary to the minister of agriculture. I had the distinct honour to act as the national caucus chair for the Conservative government for eight wonderful years. I will be forever grateful to Prime Minister Stephen Harper for honouring me with the great privilege to serve my colleagues, the Conservative Party of Canada and the Conservative government, as well as to serve him.
How do I thank the great constituents of Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry for the best 15 years of my life? Personally, I feel totally inadequate to express the sincere gratitude that I have in my heart for the hundreds and thousands of supporters and volunteers who have trusted me with the great honour of being their member of Parliament. I will be truly grateful to the wonderful constituents of Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, and I will continue to serve them in any way possible.
I want to thank my staff past and present. Currently, Francine, Denise, Sue, Nicole, Adrian and my almost full-time volunteer, my wonderful sister Claire, provide the best service any constituency office across Canada can provide. I challenge anyone to top that.
I also want to especially thank my executive assistant, Eric Duncan, who was with me for nine years. He drank the Kool-Aid and now is a candidate for Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry in the October election. Eric was my caucus coordinator during the eight years I was caucus chair. I am sure he will serve the constituents of Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry very well. As a matter of fact, I am starting to refer to him as the new improved version of Guy Lauzon, and younger I should say. He is only 31-years old.
Staff is so invaluable. Ninety per cent of the clients of the constituency of Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry do not deal with me; they deal with my staff. I go out on weekends to social events and everybody tells me that they went to my office and had great service. I tell my staff that I get wonderful feedback from constituents, and I want them to know it. I keep getting re-elected because of them. I have been re-elected four times. They do all the work and I get all the glory. However, I tell them that if I keep my job, they keep theirs. That seems to work for them.
I want to thank my colleagues on all sides of the House. It truly has been an honour to sit in the chamber and serve the constituents of Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry as well as the citizens of Canada.
To the citizens of Canada, to all the staff in Parliament and all my colleagues, I say “Thank you”. God bless them and may God bless Canada.
Topic: Government Orders
Subtopic: Members Not Seeking Re-election to the 43rd Parliament