The Honourable Stephane Dion, Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada

Mes cher Liberaux,

I’d like to thank you all for being here tonight. I’ve been on the road campaigning from coast to coast to coast this campaign so I haven’t had the chance to thank the hard working volunteers of St.Laurent Cartierville. So, merci. Merci beaucoup! It’s been my honour to represent the citizens of St.Laurent Cartierville for the past dozen years. I will continue to fight for your concerns in Ottawa for the next four.

I’d also like to offer my sincere gratitude to the men and women who ran under the Liberal banner. I’d like to thank the men and women who knocked on doors, pounded in signs, and made phone calls. There are over 40 Liberal MPs who owe you their gratitude for getting them elected and hundreds more who are equally grateful for your work. Even if they didn’t all win, every candidate I’ve talked to was proud to run as a Liberal and fight for the Canada we wanted.

And remember, mes chers amis, what we fought for, was worth fighting for.

Social Justice. This is the party of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This is the party of same sex marriage. This is the party of child care.

Economic Sustainability. This party restored Canada’s finances after the Mulroney years. The work of Jean Chretien and Paul Martin has not been in vain and every day Canadians benefit from the decisions they made during our 13 years in power.

And, the environment. We went out there every day for the first week of the campaign talking about the need for action on the climate change crisis facing the world. We gave Canadians a green plan and talked about the need for environmental sustainability. We can all be proud of that.

We all know this wasn’t the night we’d hoped. Canadians sent a message to ALL parties tonight. A message that they are sick of politics as usual. Sick of rhetoric. Sick of hollow promises. The Liberal Party has heard this message loud and clear and we will respond.

I can assure you all, that the Liberal Party is not going anywhere. This party has done so much for Canada over the years from Laurier, to King, to St.Laurent, to Pearson, to Trudeau, to Turner, to Chretien, to Martin…we will be back. Don’t anyone doubt that.

I have called the leader of the Rhinoceros Party and conceded. I wish him the bets of luck and offered him whatever help he needed in governing Canada. Quebecers rejected separatism tonight and Canadians from coast to coast rejected the current government. We need to spend the next four years convincing voters that we are ready to govern again. Voters didn’t feel that way this time and there’s a lot of work that needs to be done to renew this party. I can assure you that I will put all my energy into rebuilding this party. However, it will not be as the Liberal leader. In the next few days I will consult with the party executive to plan for a leadership contest - I will stay on as interim leader but it will be up to someone else to lead us back to power.

I’d like to thank all Liberals for their support over the years. And, above all else, I’d like to thank my wife for standing by my side. Je t’aime cherie!

I will always be proud to be a Liberal.

Vive le Canada!

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by James Bow published on August 26, 2008 11:10 PM.

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