VICTORIA – On June 6, 2018, [Official Opposition] MLA for West Vancouver-Capilano Ralph Sultan will turn 85 years old, and [Government] MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale Bowinn Ma surprised him with a tribute statement in the House today. Sultan is currently the oldest MLA in B.C. history to be elected.
“I’ve been planning this statement since January, and am so pleased to finally be able to deliver it,” MLA Ma said, “I love opportunities to reach across party lines and try to bridge what can at often times be a huge divide between our parties. I’m sure Ralph and I will continue to disagree fundamentally on many important issues, but that doesn’t mean I can’t honour him for his service and wish him a happy birthday.” See the full statement below.
“The year is 1933. Simon Fraser Tolmie is the Premier of B.C., the Prime Minister of Canada is Richard Bedford Bennett, and Franklin D. Roosevelt is the President of the United States. It’s June 6. It’s a Tuesday. In Vancouver, not surprisingly, it’s raining – not a lot, just a tad – and deep inside Vancouver General Hospital somewhere, a little child is born. A little boy.
“Growing up in a family of ten in Mount Pleasant, this boy would lead a very full life. He will attend Florence Nightingale Elementary school as a child, and King Edward High school as a teenager. Earning his first wages at the age of 12, his life will lead him through many impressive accomplishments including: becoming a Professor at Harvard University; Chief Economist at the Royal Bank of Canada; and indeed even a professional engineer. After tragically losing his wife of 43 years in a health-related emergency, this man will make the decision to enter public life and, in 2001, be elected to the Legislative Assembly of BC, where he has served for 17 years so far.
“He probably doesn’t remember this, but I actually first met this man in 2007. As a student politician, I had come to Victoria to advocate for students on a variety of issues. Well, we didn’t agree on much then and we certainly don’t agree on much today, but you don’t have to agree with someone to respect them…even if they’re on the record slamming your twitter feed.
“In 2017 this man became the oldest person to be elected in the history of B.C. politics, and in less than one week on June 6 he will turn 85 years old. From the youngest to the oldest, I ask that the house please join me in wishing our colleague, the MLA for West Vancouver-Capilano, a very happy, although slightly early, 85th birthday.”
Sultan was subsequently given an enthusiastic standing ovation by all members of the house.