NEWS ~ Statement by Peter Julian MP on Bill Siksay's Announcement

Bill Siksay and I were first elected to serve in Parliament in the breakthrough election of 2004. From the very beginning of his mandate, I was strongly impressed by Bill's work ethic and discipline, his terrific organizational skills, and his leadership in our community.

The skills and experience that he brought to the job from the very first were exceptional, having served the community for a quarter-century prior to his election as the Constituency Assistant to former MP Svend Robinson.

That experience prepared him for exemplary service to the community as Member of Parliament. Bill and his dedicated office team helped thousands of residents of Burnaby, and Bill quickly established a reputation as an MP that would determinedly follow-up on every file; doing everything he could to advocate effectively on behalf of the constituents of Burnaby- Douglas. His effectiveness on the job and his tireless efforts for his constituents lead him to be elected three times: in 2004, 2006, and 2008.

His Parliamentary work was even more impressive. Bill was one of the top ten most active Parliamentarians in each Parliament he was elected to. Most importantly, his voice in Parliament was singularly courageous: raising issues such as drug policy reform and equality for gay and lesbian Canadians and for the transgender community. His was a voice that spoke on behalf of communities across Canada that are far too often excluded and marginalized.

On local and BC issues, Bill was just as resolute. He was elected chair of the BC NDP Caucus because of his effective work on BC issues, and never failed to bring issues of local importance to Burnaby-Douglas to our national Parliament. In his critic roles in Citizenship and Immigration, in Democratic Reform, and in Ethics he accomplished much and was respected by MP`s of all parties for his strong positive, thoughtful and constructive role.

Bill's courage and ability were unique in Parliament. Though I wish him all the best in his future endeavours, there is no doubt that his place and role in our community and Canada`s Parliament will be sorely missed.

Peter Julian, MP
Burnaby-New Westminster