MP Larry Miller says goodbye in the House of Commons

In the House of Commons, Ottawa, June 4, 2019

"Mr. Speaker, I rise on this bittersweet day to speak for the last time in this storied institution.

On June 28, 2004, the fine people of Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound elected me for the first time. It is an honour and a privilege that I have never taken lightly. They have sent me back here four more times.

I was born and raised on a farm in Amabel Township, the oldest of seven children. I attended a one-room rural school for six years before moving to a huge three-room rural school for grades seven and eight. I then attended Wiarton District High School. In May of 1972, while in grade 11, due to irreconcilable differences, along with a bit of Irish stubbornness, I left school while still only 15. It is not something I am proud of, but sometimes we all make mistakes in life. We have to live with those decisions and learn from them.

The reason I even mention this is that one of the things that makes Canada so great is that, with hard work and determination, we can be anything or do anything we put our minds to.

I had always wanted a farm, so after taking a couple of farm business management courses at Georgian College, and with the help of my parents, I started to piece together my future. Later that summer, I met this cute blonde girl from the other side of the tracks and on August 26, both at age16, we had our first date. Three years later, on July 26, 1975, we got married. We raised our three sons, Brett, Curt and Cole, on our 330-head cow-calf farm just south of Wiarton in Keppel Township.

I never had political aspirations but politics seemed to find me. In November 1991, I ran for township council as a councillor. I also served terms as deputy reeve and reeve in Keppel Township before being elected as the first mayor of the amalgamated Township of Georgian Bluffs in 2000 andthen elected warden of Grey County in 2002. After being re-elected as mayor in November of 2003, I decided to seek the CPC nomination on March 2, 2004. I was successful and the rest is history.

Here we are, 15 years later, after five federal elections. I am very proud of having two private member's bills passed in this House unanimously: the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act and the Transboundary Waters Protection Act. I also worked very hard to see the end of the long-gun registry in 2012, something that was very important to my riding.

I have always been a constituency MP. That is what got me elected and that is what has kept me elected.

I will not miss the weekly trips to Ottawa or the political BS that comes with this place, but I can tell members I will sincerely miss the many good people I have met in my time here. [Personal thanks to individuals  followed]

To my present colleagues, what a team. It is indeed an honour to have worked with all of you. To my leader, I am proud that we were both elected on the same day in 2004, and I look forward to seeing you become Prime Minister in October. [More personal thanks]

To Colonel Alex Ruff, who has earned the right to try to replace me in October, thanks for being here today and good luck this fall.

Lastly, to my wife Darlene. Your mom told you to never marry a farmer or a politician. You ended up with both, so being a bit of a black sheep, how did that advice work out for you? You have always supported me in everything I have tackled. I could not have done this without you. Thank you.

In closing, I have been so fortunate to have served in this grand place for 15 years and to have been a part of some great accomplishments, but I also reflect on some sad times. Losing my great friend, Jim Flaherty in April 2014; the shooting on October 22, 2014; and losing my seatmate, Gord Brown, just over a year ago will always stay with me.

However, it is time for me and my family to move on. It is time for me to spend more time with my four beautiful grandkids. Chesney, Shailan, Brookelin and Liam, here I come. It is time for more fishing and hunting, and much, much less politics. After 10 elections, my wife and I are both electioned out. Darlene says that my “give a darn” button is busted. She is right.

 It has truly been a slice, Mr. Speaker, but I am out of here."

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