Norm Miller, Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP, has said goodbye to his colleagues at Queen’s Park in Toronto.
He won a by-election in 2001 after former Premier Ernie Eves resigned. Miller has since won re-election five times.
“I would like to thank the people of Parry Sound and Muskoka for your trust and support,” he said during a speech last week in the Ontario Legislature.
“I hope that I’ve made a lasting impact, particularly on my private members’ bills on product stewardship, producer responsibility, waste diversion, composting, and reducing dock foam pollution,” he said. “As a long-standing member of the all-party cycling caucus, I look forward to more paved shoulders to continue to make cycling safer in rural Ontario. Hopefully, in retirement, my wife Christine and I will make use of them.”
Miller credited his father, Frank Miller, with sparking his interest in politics. For his speech, Miller wore the same Royal Stewart tartan jacket his father wore during the 1983 budget ceremony.
The elder Miller served as MPP for the riding of Muskoka, which is now part of the Parry Sound-Muskoka riding, from 1971 to 1987. He served as Premier Mike Davis’ Treasurer and Minister of Economics. Miller was elected as premier in 1985.
Miller says his early days in politics were spent helping his father with his campaigns and he even started the Muskoka Young Progressive Conservative organization in 1975.
“At the end of his career, there were a few unpleasant things that made me wonder aloud on a few occasions ‘why would anyone in their right mind want to be a politician,” Miller said. However, when his father passed away in July 2000 and “100s and 100s” of people told stories about his father to him during the funeral, he said he knew he should become a politician.
During a 14 minute speech, Miller spent time thanking the many staff members he’s had over his 21 years representing the riding, including a record 17 interns that have joined his office through the Ontario Legislature Internship Program. “It’s been a pleasure to have these bright, enthusiastic, younger people in my office,” he said. “Thank you for choosing me.”
He also thanked the six PC leaders he served under but noted the PCs were only in power at the beginning and end of his two decades leading the riding.
“I’m looking forward to more freedom after 21 years of being an MPP,” Miller said, adding he looks forward to spending time with his four children and grandchildren.
Miller was given a standing ovation by his colleagues at Queen’s Park after finishing his speech.