Hundreds celebrate Guy Lauzon at farewell dinner

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By Nick Seebruch
Hundreds celebrate Guy Lauzon at farewell dinner
Guy Lauzon with his wife Frances at his farewell dinner at the Cornwall Civic Complex on Wednesday, June 5, 2019 (Nick Seebruch/ Seaway News).

CORNWALL, Ontario – over 300 people were at the Cornwall Civic Complex on Wednesday, June 5 to wish longtime Stormont, Dundas and South Glengarry Conservative MP Guy Lauzon a happy retirement.

Lauzon first ran for his seat in 2000, as a member of the Alliance Party, he was elected in the following federal election in 2004 as a Conservative and has served as MP every since, winning a plurality of the vote in four of the last five elections.

Special guests were invited to speak at the dinner and share their memories of Guy.

“I want to thank Guy for all of his help and advice,” said Stormont, Dundas and South Glengarry Progressive Conservative MPP Jim McDonell. “I want to thank him and congratulate him on 15 years of hard work.”

Former political foe Cornwall Mayor Bernadette Clement also had some gracious words of thanks for Guy. Clement faced Guy in two federal elections as the Liberal Party candidate.

“I am bringing more thank greetings, I am also bringing gratitude,” said Clement. “Every single person today asked me to pass on their thanks. You are beloved in this community.”

Eric Duncan was a longtime aid to Guy, and started working for him as a teenager. Now, Duncan is running as the Conservative candidate in the 2019 election in the hopes of replacing him. Duncan explained ways that Guy’s local focus has helped the riding.

“One thing I have learned from Guy, is to stay on the ground in your riding,” he said. “There is no better way to know what is happening in your community than by doing what Guy has done.”

Duncan listed dozens of projects in the Stormont, Dundas and South Glengarry riding for which Guy was able to secure federal funding including the Winchester Pool, the Brookdale extension project, the Char-Lan Rec. Centre, the Lost Villages, the new Seaway International Bridge and the Service Canada Centre in Cornwall, which brought over 200 jobs into the community. In all, Duncan estimated that the amount of federal funds that Guy had brought into his riding was in the hundreds of millions.

Above and beyond the money, Duncan also highlighted all of the events Guy has gone to, and the residents that he has helped. Duncan estimated that this year alone, Guy Lauzon’s office helped over 6,000 people do their taxes for free and helped dozens complete their passport applications.

Current Conservative Party Leader Andrew Sheer and former Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper send well wishes to Guy via video message.

“I wanted to thank Guy for his many years of service,” Harper said. “He was a tower of strength for our government. He worked continuously and tirelessly on behalf of his constituents.”

When the man himself got up to speak, Lauzon was overwhelmed with gratitude. He explained his early struggles with alcoholism and how he is amazed how he overcame his disease to become MP.

“You have given me the most wonderful honour and the most wonderful privilege anyone in Canada can ever have,” he said.

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