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Jay Hill, the Conservative MP for Prince George-Peace River, delivers his farewell address to the House of Commons on Oct. 4, 2010. (CHRIS WATTIE/REUTERS)
Jay Hill, the Conservative MP for Prince George-Peace River, delivers his farewell address to the House of Commons on Oct. 4, 2010. (CHRIS WATTIE/REUTERS)

'Crusty old roughneck' Jay Hill to give up his seat Oct. 25 Add to ...

Jay Hill, a British Columbia MP who served as both chief government whip and House leader, says he will resign his Commons seat in three weeks.

The 57-year-old Conservative had earlier announced he wouldn't be running again, but now he says he'll leave Oct. 25.

Mr. Hill has represented the riding of Prince George-Peace River since 1993. He won six elections, running for the Reform Party, the Canadian Alliance and the Conservatives.

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In bidding farewell to the Commons, Mr. Hill said it's best to leave politics on one's own, rather than leaving it up to the voters.

He also paid tribute to his wife, Leah, and his three children, Holly, Heather and Heath, thanking them for their patience.

Mr. Hill is a former forestry and oil-field worker who, with his brother, later took over and ran the family farm in northeastern British Columbia.

MPs of all parties offered tributes to Hill.

Transport Minister Chuck Strahl, another B.C. Tory who entered the Commons in 1993, recalled the early Hill as a rough diamond. "He was Jay of the North, a no-nonsense guy who knew what he knew."

That changed over the years, Mr. Strahl said. "A leader is what he's become. It was a big shift for a crusty old roughneck from the oil patch."

Mr. Strahl praised Hill for "an exceptionally productive career and an exceptionally positive influence."

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