Mr. Speaker, you have given a decade of service to all members of Parliament as our Speaker. Maybe this day is no different from all those others spent occupying the chair, listening to endless points of order that really are not points of order, making your rulings and seeking order, seeking order, and still more order.
Of course, it is different today, in that this appears to be the last such day. So it is fitting that we pay you tribute, and I do so on behalf of our leader, the member for Toronto—Danforth, and our entire NDP caucus.
Mr. Speaker, you were elected or acclaimed as Speaker on four occasions, and it is no small feat in itself to have earned the respect of the House so many times over. You presided at many critical moments, including being the only Speaker ever to decide a confidence vote in 2005.
Mr. Speaker, we remember you for your fairness, your impartiality and your good humour.
You know this place inside out and all of its strange practices that no one really understands but which, at certain moments, become important, even critical, to how we function and do our work for Canadians.
Most of all, though, Mr. Speaker, you will be remembered for your historic rulings on the disclosure of documents dealing with Afghanistan, other document disclosure and questions of contempt, which bring us here today.
You have been our guardian and the guardian of our Parliament. I think it was best said in an article just yesterday in Maclean's magazine, which concluded:
Amid much gnashing of teeth over the state of our parliamentary democracy, [the Speaker] reasserted the power and preeminence of the House of Commons
Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the NDP members, we wish you well. We hope you are not left to muttering “Order” in your sleep. We thank you for your service as an honourable Speaker, and we thank your family for sharing you with us and for the work you have done so well.