MP Report by Jay Hill, M.P.
“Fade to Black”
Well, this is it.
It was nearly 18 years ago that I put pen to paper, sat down and wrote my first newspaper column.
Now after hundreds (I purposely spared you from numbering them) I write the final one.
“They” say that truth is stranger than fiction, and I certainly believe that when I reflect back upon these past seventeen years that I’ve been so fortunate and privileged to have been your Member of Parliament.
And while it’s been exhilarating to have been given the opportunity to sit down to dinner with Kings and Presidents, to have attended receptions in Ottawa and around the world for a myriad of heads-of-state, famous people and assorted VIPS, it is the memories of friendship, kindness and pride that I will cherish the most.
Friendship. Yes, colleagues and staff … bonding that in some cases will undoubtedly outlast my political career. But also the unexpected acts of friendship I’ve experienced in every corner of our great country, and in virtually every country I’ve been privileged to visit around the globe. Likewise, completely unexpected acts of kindness.
And lastly, all the incidents of pride. How proud I’ve been to be able to introduce myself as YOUR MP. “Hi, I’m Jay Hill, Member of Parliament for Prince George-Peace River.”
What an unbelievable honour you’ve bestowed upon me not once or twice, but six times! No matter how hard I, and my staff, have worked for you over these many years, part of me has always felt humbled and somehow, inadequate.
I want to use this last opportunity to shower praise on some of my longest suffering … er I mean … serving, staff.
In Ottawa, Charmaine Crockett (14 years) and Christine Wylupski (10). I felt a part of their families as I’ve watched them experience the joy and the struggles as each raises their three children.
Charmaine, my co-conspirator and part-time ghost writer for this column (there, I’ve come clean). Christine, always a smile to brighten every day, both the good and bad, ensuring I keep things in perspective.
In Fort St. John, Carol Larson who spent ten years as my senior constituency assistant and was my campaign manager for three election campaigns. And, Barb Gale, whom so capably took care of the day-to-day needs of my constituents in Prince George.
All four forever so much more than just loyal employees…but rather special friends.
So how do I end this, my very last weekly column? I suppose I want to reiterate what I said in the House of Commons chamber when I announced I would resign, effective October 25th:
The thing that I will miss most about politics is the people. Vibrant, passionate people. For life is about relationships, our personal ones with family and friends, our professional ones with workmates, staff and colleagues … and constituents.
Already as I reflect on my time as your MP, I realize that although I will be able to recall the important issues and the debates lost and won, in the end, it is my memory of the people I met along that journey that I will carry with me always.