With two decades under his belt, Prince George-Cariboo MP Dick Harris doesn't have a lot left to check off his Parliament Hill bucket list.
Today marks 20 years since Harris was elected to represent the region in 1993 as a Reform Party newcomer.
"I've got some amazing stories of things we've been able to do that changed peoples' lives," said Harris, who prides himself on not going to Ottawa to be a political star, but to focus on constituent issues. "These are the memories I'm going to have forever. Most people don't get the chance to help people like that."
There's only two things Harris said he wants to see some real progress on before he wakes up one morning and decides he's ready to throw in the towel - and they're not minor matters.
"These are big things and they're important and it's about jobs and the economy and the stability of the economy," said Harris. Having a lower unemployment rate than other parts of Canada isn't reason enough for the region to rest on its laurels, but rather to make sure it's insulated against outside pressures.
Top of the list for the MP is getting Taseko's New Prosperity gold and copper mining project west of Williams Lake up and running, which he said will create about 1,000 jobs to get it going and then provide anther 600 permanent jobs. A decision on the environmental assessment should be handed down before the end of the year.
"I'm doing everything I can to make sure it's the right decision," said Harris.
A Prince George project takes the second spot on Harris' bucket list, with the airport reaching its full potential as a tech stop and distribution hub firmly on his radar.
"It's been a tough fight with the regulatory people," he said. "It would be a huge economic driver for Prince George."
Harris's Ottawa staff threw him a surprise reception Wednesday night to celebrate the anniversary.
"I came out of the House [of Commons], up the elevator and down the hall, all the way to my office, there's Dick Harris posters and balloons and everything," he said.
When he returns to Prince George for Remembrance Day, he'll mark the occasion with his constituency staff, Jennifer and Soraya, whom he refers to as his "wonder women."
"They are so intelligent and so efficient and so caring about what they do that it just makes my life real easy," said Harris. "It really does."
Staying away from controversy is another way Harris gets through life on the Hill.
In addition to adapting to a faster news cycle ("You can say something in Parliament or anywhere in Ottawa you can make a comment and if it's been recorded somehow it's across the country or around the world in seconds."), Harris said the overall culture has changed over the past 20 years.
"It's a lot nastier in Ottawa now than it's ever been. It's something I find really distasteful some days. I don't like it much," he said. "We were tough back in the early days, but we weren't nasty as being in Opposition... Fortunately, I've been around so long I know how to keep my head down and just go about doing the business that I've got to do. The rest of them can fight but I'll get my stuff done."