Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to a great leader from our community in Durham, a leader who also happens to be my father, John O’Toole. He is retiring this week, after 19 years as our member of provincial Parliament.
While raising a family of five children and working 31 years at General Motors, he was always active in our community, ultimately becoming school trustee, local councillor, regional councillor, and then MPP in 1995. In the government of Mike Harris, he served as the parliamentary assistant to the minister of finance, the late Jim Flaherty, and to the minister health, who is now our President of the Treasury Board.
He served with great distinction, and the families of Durham will be truly thankful for his work as an advocate and a champion for our community. He was the iron man of the legislature and spoke in the House more than any other member. I will have to serve 50 years in this House to have as many appearances in Hansard as my father.
He remains a personal inspiration to me. I thank my dad for his public service, and I wish him and my mom a happy and healthy retirement.