Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It goes to show once again that I was right in saying a while ago that I needed your guidance for my first steps in this house.
Mr. Speaker, I appeal to all my colleagues here to sympathize with the first impression of a new member of this house. It seems to me that I am seeing shades of all the great parliamentarians who came here before us, leaving a deep imprint upon Canadian life. I feel, at times, that I am hearing echoes of their voices and the fact that I am sitting with 264 highly selected colleagues normally representative of the very best among good Canadians. Getting to know certain impressive members of this house constitutes for the new member a challenge to do a little bit more and a little bit better for his constituency, for his province and for his country.
People in some circles wondered why the member for Trois-Rivieres, after having been active within the Liberal party for several years, had decided to run as an independent. Some reasons are not of public interest; there are perhaps one or two I could give here, only to explain my attitude in this house. At one time, like many other Canadians I realized that the old parties had lost their popular appeal. I will go further and without the least offence intended for my friends in the government party, I will say that I am under the impression that, to a certain extent, the Liberal party won the last election by default.
Topic: SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY