Hi Folks,

The time has come for me to sign off on Facebook and Twitter, at least as a Member of Parliament. For what will be 9 years and 9 months, I will have been privileged and honoured to serve in this position. I have been quite active on social media, as I think it is important that you know your MP is “out there” and what he is up to. With very few exceptions (death threats and hijacking my site), I have allowed a full exchange of bouquets and brickbats, because I really do respect free speech and people’s opinions. Respectful, or at least tolerant, disagreement is essential to mutual understanding.

I am very grateful to the people of Edmonton Centre for trusting me three times to represent them. I am very grateful to the Prime Minister for giving me the chance to do things that most Canadians never get to do. I am very grateful to all the volunteers without whom I wouldn’t be in this position. I am very grateful to my excellent staff in Edmonton and Ottawa who did their best to make me look good and to provide great service to constituents. Mostly, I’m very grateful to my wife Judy for tolerating a part-time husband for most of the past dozen years and being the leader of a great family support team of Jennifer, Robb, Jeff, Kiran, Tyler and Raiya.

I will stay busy in retirement in a number of positions of public service, the most exciting of which will be as the Honourary Colonel of 401 Tactical Fighter Squadron in Cold Lake. I’m really looking forward to being back in the uniform of the RCAF, for the third time.

This isn’t an invitation to get into a dialogue. I merely want to say goodbye and thank you for being an interesting part (take that any way you want) of my decade as the Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre. With any luck and a lot of hard work, James Cumming will take up where I leave off; but I’ll leave that to your good judgment. Wishing everyone all the best. Cheers, Laurie