June 15, 2018 4:18 pm
Updated: June 15, 2018 4:59 pm

Geoffrey Kelley gives thanks, says good-bye at Quebec National Assembly

WATCH ABOVE: Longtime Liberal Geoffrey Kelley has given his last speech at Quebec's National Assembly.


Longtime Liberal Geoffrey Kelley has given his last speech at Quebec’s National Assembly.

After decades of service, the 63-year-old is quitting provincial politics.

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READ MORE: Quebec Native Affairs Minister Geoffrey Kelley on taking care of First Nations families

“It’s impossible to sum up a career of 24 years in four minutes,” Kelley said, continuing on to thank his electors, volunteers, all the premiers he has worked with and the many other people who he has worked with over his career.

Kelley became a Liberal member of the legislature starting in 1994.

“Thank you to all my colleagues here. I’m a little biased to my colleagues on this side,” he said gesturing to the Liberals.

“But it was really nice for all of us to work together.”

READ MORE: Quebec cabinet minister Geoffrey Kelley will not seek re-election

Kelley served in the Jacques-Cartier riding, located in Montreal’s West Island.

WATCH BELOW: What drew Geoffrey Kelley to politics?

Kelley, who served as minister of native affairs, pointed out that though he is leaving politics, he plans to continue working with the province’s First Nations communities.

“I also want to thank the First Nations communities of Quebec, for always giving me a warm welcome, and for all the projects we have been able to work on together,” said Kelley.

“We have a collective duty to create a prosperous future for our youth.”

Becoming emotional, Kelley’s final words in the national assembly were to thank his friends and family for all they have done.

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“First my loving parents, who are no longer with us. My father, Fred, was a political junkie, a volunteer in every political campaign. My mother was a dedicated volunteer in our health care system, someone who loved public policy, so it was a good training ground,” he recalled.

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Above all, Kelley gave thanks to his wife, Judy Harper, “for all her love and wise counsel.”

“There is no better partner for the journey I have been on,” he said.

“So, the last word I will say in here is the word: Judy.”

One candidate eyeing the Liberal nomination in Kelley’s now-vacant Jacques-Cartier riding is his son, Gregory.

Kelley is one of 18 members of Premier Philippe Couillard‘s cabinet to announce he will not seek another mandate in this October’s elections.

Joining him are National Assembly President Jacques Chagnon, Laurent LessardRobert Poëti, Tourism Minister Julie Boulet, Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux, Justice Minister Stephanie ValléeJean-Marc Fournier and Immigration Minister David Heurtel.

READ MORE: Quebec Liberals recruiting more anglophone candidates?

Several Liberal backbenchers have also said they won’t run again.

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