It figures that I was so busy with work, yesterday, on the actual 2nd anniversary of getting elected, that I didn't have time to write a note about it here. I will confess, however, to ending the day with (what better?) some Guiness at the residence of the Irish Ambassador to Canada. If I remember correctly, green beer was flowing in celebration 2 years ago. St. Patrick's Day will always hold an even more special place in my heart than it used to.
Thank you to all those who have sent such great messages of good wishes.
After two years (it feels like yesterday), I want to say something about how wonderful it is to have been elected.
As corny as it may sound, it is an extraordinary honour and privilege to be an elected Member of Parliament, in this great country of ours. Every day that I walk into these beautiful buildings, I pause, I look around, and I say to myself, "Wow---I get to work here."
I have learned so much. I have learned about how MPs lead 2 lives--one in the constituency, doing what we can to help our consituents with their relationships with the federal government (and all sorts of other things :-)); and a second, very different life, that we lead as legislators in Ottawa, working to keep the government to account, making suggestions for improvement, working on our committees, researching and analyzing proposed legislation (with the great help of our teams) and then voting accordingly; engaging in debates in the House--the list goes on. I have also learned a great deal about the many, many issues that affect Canadians; about the challenges of trying to work cooperatively in a very partisan enviroment; about what extraordinary potential that Canada and Canadians possess for doing so much more, even, both domestically and internationally, than we do now.
I love all aspects of what I do, very much. I am indeed very fortunate.
I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to the people of Willowdale for electing me--now twice!--and for showing their confidence in me. Thank you, too, to all of those volunteers who worked on those two successful campaigns, and to all those who have contributed financially. I want to thank the wonderful people with whom I work, and without whom we simply couldn't do the work we do for the people of Willowdale and for the country: In Willowdale, Michele, Carol and Lily, and all the Willowdale volunteers; in Ottawa, Anne-Sophie, Puneet and Elizabeth, and all the Ottawa volunteers; and to all of the fabulous people who make up the Willowdale Federal Liberal Association. Doing good things takes a real team effort, and I'm incredibly lucky to be able to count myself a part of this great group of people.
Thank you all, so much, and I look forward to many more years of being able to serve as the MP for Willowdale.