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Ontario Hansard - 27-October2016

The Clerk of the Assembly (Ms. Deborah Deller): You might regret this because I have 37-odd years of stuff stored up inside this head.

Thank you all for your kind words. I am seized, I think, all this week with a mixture of nostalgia and excitement. I have loved every—almost every—minute of my time in this place. When I walked through these doors of this building for the first time all those years ago, I fell, then, hopelessly and irrevocably in love with this place, and I love it still, although like an aging spouse, I am more able to see its flaws.

I’ll miss the place. I’ll miss its intrigue. I’ll miss its unpredictability. I’ll miss the lingering scent of history in these halls. I’ll even miss question period, but I’m not tuning in to see it.

Mostly, I have to say that I will miss the people that I’ve worked with over all these years, and among those people that I will miss are you, the politicians. I am one of those oddball people, I guess, who really enjoy politicians. I find them to be a dedicated, committed group of people who are bright, who have a great sense of humour and who are here because they want to make this place that we live in a good place to be.

So I want to say thank you, not for your words today but for what you do—what you do every day. You disrupt your lives to go into this public service. You spend long days and hours away from your families. You spend long days and hours working, very frequently on the weekends, and you don’t really get a lot of thanks. You live under a microscope. I wish people knew the reality of the job you do, because if they did, I feel fairly certain that, like me, they would determine that no amount of money could ever convince me to do the job that you do. So thank you for that work. You need to stand up for yourselves. You need to understand that you are all here for the same reasons and respect that about each other.

I will miss—I’m sorry to say this—more than you, the staff of this place. This is a group of people who are expert in what they do. They’re extraordinarily professional and their only goal in coming here is to make sure that the House and its committees can do the work that they have to do. These people are so good at their jobs, they make life as a Clerk as stress-free as it possibly can be, and this place, with or without me, will carry on serving you expertly and professionally.

I have to say a word to my family. This job, like yours, does kind of consume you. It consumes your attention and it consumes your energy. And so I think that part of what fed my decision to finally retire is that at some point you have to take stock of the balance of your work and your life and your commitment to your profession and your commitment to your family, and it is long, long, long overdue for me to make my family a priority in a way that they have not been up to now.

They are, in some ways, long suffering. I have missed events and commitments to my family because of this place, and they have understood and tolerated it and actually even been fairly interested in the work I do here. So from my heart to theirs, I thank you very much.

I’m almost done. I’ll be brief. I do want to say that I am excited about the next chapter in my life. Garry and I, many of you know, are sailors. I’m excited to go sailing. He’s excited to go sailing with me and without my BlackBerry. We have a long someday-list of travels that I think we want to get to, and maybe we’ll even tend a garden and try and make something grow for a change in that place. We haven’t had time to do that before.

I just want to say this, going back to you people: The owl in the centre of those two archways is an owl that looks down on the government. It’s an owl that is there to remind those members that sit on the government side to govern wisely. The eagle in the centre of the arches on the opposite gallery faces the opposition, and it’s there to remind those of you that sit on the opposition side to be vigilant. Those are the roles you play, but they are interactive roles. The motto of this place is, “Hear the other side.” It is important in the governing of this province that you hear both sides of every argument, and I implore you to do that going forward. Thank you for the work you do.

Applause.

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