Interventions in the House of Commons
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View Geoff Regan Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Geoff Regan Profile
2019-06-06 15:25 [p.28708]
I declare the amendment lost.
The next question is on the main motion.
Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
Some hon. members: No.
The Speaker: All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.
Some hon. members: Yea.
The Speaker: All those opposed will please say nay.
Some hon. members: Nay.
The Speaker: In my opinion the yeas have it.
And five or more members having risen:
View Darrell Samson Profile
Lib. (NS)
Madam Speaker, I definitely want to thank my colleague who sits on the Standing Committee on Official Languages with us and who does a very good job. There is no doubt about that. Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d'Orléans—Charlevoix is certainly a beautiful riding. I sincerely thank my colleague.
I am somewhat perplexed by this evening's debate. I thank you for your opinion and comments on this issue.
View Darrell Samson Profile
Lib. (NS)
Madam Speaker, thank you for correcting me and for allowing me to continue.
The problem is that the NDP is saying that we must do everything and pardon everything, and the Conservatives are saying that we do not really need to do anything. They are against cannabis legalization and they do not agree with it. I would like the member who spoke to explain what she believes to be the solution.
In her view, what is the best way to move forward on this issue? That is my question.
Provide us with the solution we are looking for.
View Mark Eyking Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Mark Eyking Profile
2019-05-14 15:12 [p.27767]
Mr. Speaker, fellow MPs and parliamentary staff, I rise today to say goodbye. I have come to know many of you over the last 19 years here. We have spent many long days and late nights right here working together for Canadians right across our wonderful country.
Over 338 of us have the honour to sit in this chamber representing and working for our constituents back at home. Today I would like to recognize the ones who helped me get to this special place.
First, I would like to recognize my parents, John and Jean Eyking. I am so fortunate that they emigrated from their homeland, the Netherlands, not only to come to Canada but to start a new life on the beautiful island of Cape Breton. They raised 10 of us while being successful in business. They contributed to major projects in Cape Breton, and helped many in need. They will be recognized next week in the Cape Breton Business and Philanthropy Hall of Fame.
My parents cherished democracy and told us that voting is very important, but it was close friends of our family, George and Sharon Unsworth, who encouraged me to enter politics. I will never forget the day George came looking for me in the broccoli field and asked me to run.
I feel so fortunate that I became part of the Liberal team. Prime Ministers Chrétien, Martin and our Prime Minister today not only helped me achieve so much for Cape Breton Island but also gave me the opportunity to work with all Canadians, whether here in Canada or internationally. I look forward to more great work done by our Prime Minister after October.
I would like to thank so many back in Cape Breton who helped me get here. I cannot name them all, because we would end up sitting here until midnight, but I recognize the teams that worked on the ground to get me elected six times.
I thank Meryl Buchanan and the Victoria County team; Bob Jardine and the northsiders; Vince MacLean and Gerard MacNamara, from the Sydney team; Chief Leroy, from the Eskasoni team; and the dynamic duo, Dave Wilton and Mary Woodman and their New Waterford team. Of course, we can never forget our sign guys, Stan and Charlie. I thank the team for not only getting me re-elected but for putting on fundraisers every year to pay the bills.
I would especially like to thank everyone from my riding of Sydney—Victoria who had faith in me and checked off my name at the ballot box. Through my years of representing them, I had the opportunity to meet them in their kitchens, community centres, places of worship, and of course, workplaces. I was fortunate to represent such a diverse group of people with so much compassion and resilience.
When I was elected, my mom said, “Work hard for Cape Breton, and behave while you're up there.” One might say that is a bit challenging when I was sharing Cape Breton and living with Rodger. I know I am not supposed to call him Rodger. I am supposed to call him the member for Cape Breton—Canso, but we are too close for that. We not only pulled off a lot for people back home, we had a lot of fun doing it. I stand here today to recognize him, along with all my fellow MPs, who through the years supported me every step of the way.
All of us in this chamber get a lot of credit when we succeed in doing important work for our ridings, but we all know that our staff is one of the keys to our success. They must respond at all times not only to us but to our constituents when challenges arise.
My staff, John Patrick, Elizabeth, Ann, Meghan, Ryan and Sean not only take care of things back home but keep things running smoothly up here on the Hill.
I would also like to thank my previous staff who helped me: Darlene, John Coady, Diane and Kirby.
Every day our office faces new challenges. Some days it is helping a constituent. Other days it is assisting communities with projects or dealing with emergencies. We had the tar ponds and we had the major floods during Thanksgiving.
We have a workload at home and also in Ottawa, whether it is the work in this chamber or at committees. In our caucus it is crucial for bringing this country forward, and it all comes from our staff.
There are so many on the Hill who also deserve recognition. Whether they work in departments or help me get to the Hill by cab or get me on the airplane, they all help to get the job done, and I thank them all very much.
Over my 19 years, one of my biggest focuses has been the extension of the EI sickness benefits from 15 weeks to 50 weeks for those who need it the most. I would like to thank my staff for the important research and all the organizations that supported me in this pursuit. I would like to thank all the members in this chamber for unanimously passing my motion last week, Motion No. 201. We know the extension of EI sickness benefits is not only the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do.
Some people ask how I got through so many challenging situations over the last 19 years. It is because my team helps me get the job done. As I said, we do not get through politics alone. There are many sacrifices in politics, and many proud moments. I encourage all Canadians to get involved, whether by putting their name on the ballot or by encouraging and supporting someone who wants to put their name forward. People who do that are so important. We live in the most beautiful country in the world, whether it is our landscape or our culture and diversity, but without a solid democratic foundation, it is all for naught.
I am now going to thank the person who made my life complete.
Forty years ago, my wife Pam and I met. It started after a dance. She came back to the farm with me that evening because we had just received 10,000 new baby chickens. She helped me feed them. Her being from Dartmouth and my being from Cape Breton made for a lot of travel back and forth to see each other, and we are still doing that today.
Pam and I started a vegetable farm, and we were very successful. We received many awards. We had wonderful, hard-working employees who helped us achieve success, people like Joe King, Eldridge, Sissy and of course our special Whitty Mom.
I was not the only one to be successful in getting elected. Pam was elected the MLA for Victoria Lakes. Again, we worked hard together to accomplish many projects in our region, especially the one we are most proud of, doing a makeover of the world-famous Cabot Trail.
We were blessed with four wonderful children, Mieka, Josh, Bethany and Jonah, and along with their spouses Christian, Natalie, and Wade, we now have six beautiful grandchildren and one on the way. This is one of the main reasons that I am leaving this wonderful place. I am so happy that two of my grandchildren have joined me on the Hill today, Lucienne and Davie.
I would like to say goodbye with my personal definition of how to be fulfilled in one's life: May you live in the place that you love; may you do the things that you enjoy; and most importantly, may you be surrounded by those who share those goals with you.
I was truly blessed.
View Rodger Cuzner Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Rodger Cuzner Profile
2019-05-14 15:26 [p.27769]
Mr. Speaker, this is a great opportunity for me to thank the member for Sydney—Victoria. We served together for 19 years, we lived together for 13 years and I have taken lessons from him out of both experiences.
The greatest lesson in perseverance I have learned would be in the energy, effort and tenacity he showed on the project that was the Sydney tar ponds. North America's toughest and biggest environmental tragedy was the Sydney tar ponds. When he came to this place, he was seized with making sure that the people in our community were able to deal with that. It was not easy.
He was like Diana Ross and with Senator Al Graham, I was like one of the Supremes, but he pushed that through Nova Scotia caucus and Atlantic caucus and through Ontario and national caucus to the finance minister and the Prime Minister's Office to get $280 million to clean up North America's worst toxic site. The people in Cape Breton and Nova Scotia should always be very thankful. I am very proud of the job he did on that particular file.
Of course, as I said, I lived with him for 13 years. As far as cleaning up goes, he was much better as an MP than he was as a roommate.
I had the great opportunity to spend a bunch of time with his great family, Pam and Mieka and Josh and Jonah. Josh and Jonah moved in with us for a little bit, and in the Eykings, they were like earwigs: They were everywhere. I said that I had to get out of that place.
However, it was beautiful because his boys were older than mine. When we first started, the member had sort of a curly Afro. Then Josh hit his teens, and it disappeared soon after. He used to always say, “Listen, bulldog, don't worry; your time will come” as my boys got older, and they did. He was able to mentor me on how to deal with problem children. He has turned out to be a loving husband and a great father.
We did have a great deal of fun, but one of the first things we had to do as rookie members of Parliament was get on a flight to Cape Breton to deliver the message that the federal government was getting out of the coal mining business. That was a tough one. For friends, family and the whole community, there was a nervousness and a fear coming out of that. It was a tough one for us to deliver.
The current Minister of Public Safety was in natural resources at the time, and with Prime Minister Chrétien and finance minister Paul Martin, we were able to put the supports and transition measures in place that allowed the community to shoulder the impact of that tough decision.
We went through a lot of stuff together, and the Harper Conservatives gave us a lot of stuff to work with. It was sort of a veritable buffet when they closed the Veterans Affairs office and made cuts to CBC. We were able to stand together with our communities and take those things on.
Through all this, know that there is no finer family man and no greater gentleman in this chamber. There is no greater guy in this place. There have been all kinds of good people who have come through here and provided us with the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people.
I know that the member for Sydney—Victoria is retiring only from Parliament and that he will lead an active life in his retirement. I know he will enjoy it, and he deserves it. It has been fabulous getting to know him. I consider him a friend.
All the best.
View Geoff Regan Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Geoff Regan Profile
2019-05-14 15:42 [p.27771]
I hope the House will indulge me while I reminisce for a second or two about the times we have had together, Mark. We got to be friends after we came in 2000. I was coming back after my involuntary sabbatical, but we came together.
I had the great pleasure of working with you over that time on many issues and many things. It has been wonderful to have you around. We had to deal with the hon. member for Cape Breton—Canso; that could be a challenge of course. The two of you were sharing an apartment for a long time, and everyone referred to it as the Cape Breton embassy because there were so many visitors from Cape Breton there. Many of us were upset that you decided to divorce, to split up and move into separate places. However, you reconciled later so everyone was pleased. On all sides of the House, people were pleased to see that.
We appreciate your sense of humour, all of us do, and your hard work. I know you care very deeply about the people of Sydney—Victoria, Cape Breton and all of Canada. I know you care deeply about your family. I want to wish you and Pam and your magnificent family the very best in the future.
View Mark Eyking Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Mark Eyking Profile
2019-05-14 15:43 [p.27771]
Mr. Speaker, there is so much love in this room that I think I am going to stay.
I do not want to challenge the Speaker; I never did in my 19 years. However, I am challenging him on this one. We are not divorced. We are just separated because of the kids, and we are all right.
I would like to make a few comments, and I guess I will start with the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands. I have to confess that not everybody in our family votes Liberal. There is one in our family who has a crush on her, but he has to let that go because she is married now. We have a Greenie in our midst.
I wish good luck to the member from Niagara, with Hayes MacNeil and Vince MacLean, his cousins. They are pretty entrenched back there, so good luck getting one of the MacNeils and MacLeans to run, but I appreciate it. There is so much Cape Breton connection here.
The tar ponds were also brought up. That was a really big challenge, but it was one of those things that happen where nobody in this House could disagree it had to be done. It started with a community group, with Dan Fraser and the community. They started it. At that time, there was a good Conservative premier, John Hamm, who stepped right up to the plate with the member for Cape Breton—Canso and me, and we got it done. If you, Mr. Speaker, and others in this chamber ever come to Sydney, go downtown and see this beautiful park. There is a new business there now with 300 or 400 employees. It is just a wonderful thing. It is a project that is not about me; it is about Canadians all doing the right thing and getting it done.
To the member for Timmins—James Bay, the beaver story comes up and for the record I have to straighten this out about what meeting the member for Cape Breton—Canso and I were coming from. It was a meeting at D'Arcy McGee's, and it was one of those meetings with the member for Cape Breton—Canso where I would say, “It's time to go home now.” It was April 1. God love the poor lady who was on 911 on the other end, but it was April 1. We saw the beaver and the member for Cape Breton—Canso called 911 right off the bat. He calls 911 and says we are two members of Parliament, on April Fool's Day, and we are on Sparks Street and we have a beaver. She told him he was tying up the line and all that stuff. I asked the member for Cape Breton—Canso how that was working out; well, it was not going very well. Anyway, we did get the beaver. The member for Cape Breton—Canso has some qualities. I do not think he was ever on a farm before, but he has some qualities. Anyway, we got the beaver across the road and he was not paying attention very much but we got the beaver in the river. However, he was following us back to the Cape Breton embassy and we had to go back and chase him down again, so we got the job done.
The member for Prince Albert and I came up here, and we are farmers and we worked hard for our people. There is never a day that we do not think about the fine people in this country and around the world who produce the food for us to put on the table. We always agreed on that and worked together on that. I thank him very much for being on agriculture and on trade with me. Maybe we can go down there. He knows Spanish better than I do, so maybe he can do the translation down there and we can do more projects.
Mr. Speaker, I will close. This has been such a wonderful experience for me, being in this House, as the son of an immigrant and being a business person. It is not easy for someone in business coming up here. Having so much support back home and here, I never had to worry about what was happening behind me, so I could always look ahead. I thank my colleagues very much.
View Geoff Regan Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Geoff Regan Profile
2019-05-02 11:22 [p.27273]
I declare the motion carried.
When shall the bill be read a third time? By leave, now?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
View Geoff Regan Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Geoff Regan Profile
2019-04-02 15:14 [p.26594]
Does the hon. parliamentary secretary have the unanimous consent of the House to move the motion?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
The Speaker: The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
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