Skip to content

Shuswap MLA Kyllo puts family first in farewell address

Goodbye speech closed with cryptic sign off 'I'll be back'
Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo bid farewell to his cabinet colleagues, his BC United "family," during his May 9 farewell address at the legislature.

Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo was all about family as he delivered his farewell address to the B.C. Legislature after having served three terms. 

As the parliament session wound down in May, departing members had the opportunity to reflect on their tenure and say an official goodbye, which Kyllo opened with a tribute to his family that includes his "lovely wife Georgina," four daughters and 12 grandchildren.

"Absolutely love my family to the moon and back," he stated. "They have been there to support me through this journey."

He also spoke of his parents, with his dad Glenn Kyllo having served as councillor and mayor of Taylor, B.C. for a number of terms.

"I think that must have rubbed off on me somewhat because as I got into high school I ran for student council, I was student council president during my graduation year."

Kyllo's first foray into public politics, however, was prompted by something much smaller and far more annoying than any family member, recalling an incident from 2011. 

"As luck would have it, the one thing that got me into politics was mosquitoes of all things," he said to laughter from the house. 

He went on to explain the District of Sicamous had stopped its larviciding program that year and the community was overrun with mosquitoes, with Kyllo one of many residents complaining about the swarm. A friend suggested he quit whining and do something about it by joining council. 

He successfully earned a seat at the table and in 2012, his shift into provincial politics came during the Two-Mile and Swansea Point landslides. As a result of the flood that year, he met then premier Christy Clark who encouraged him to seek the nomination. Though he originally declined, she wouldn't take no for an answer and "had a private meeting with my wife." 

"And now here we are, 11 years later, 11 years this month since I was first elected," Kyllo said. "Less than 1,000 British Columbians have ever served in the role of MLA. And when you think about it, over the 140-year history of this province, it's a very small group.

"It truly is an experience of no other. The friendships that we make in this job of service to your community is so important, and I know that the friendships that have been created will carry on long past my departure from this place." 

He added people who started off as colleagues, have since become his other "family" which was corroborated by his Columbia River-Revelstoke counterpart Doug Clovechok in his own farewell address during a different session. 

"Greg has ben my roommate for the last seven years. Yeah, I spend more time with Greg than my wife, not that that's a bad thing," he joked. "We started out as roommates, but I honestly consider him now to be like my little brother. He's become my family, and we always will be family. His family is my family." 

Kyllo brought his own speech to a close by recognizing his constituents, of whom he's met thousands over the years, and saying how proud he's been to represent the community that he loves. 

"It really has been a privilege and an honour to represent the hardworking men and women, the constituents of Shuswap. It's a position I certainly have not taken lightly," he said. "And to my broader BC Liberal, now BC United, family... I'll be back."




About the Author: Heather Black

Read more