Photo: © House of Commons/Bernard Clark
As Speaker of the House of Commons, I am pleased to present the Report to Canadians 2007. This report describes the accomplishments of Members of Parliament from April 2006 through March 2007, and the initiatives of the House of Commons Administration that support the Members in their work.
While the activities described in the report are as varied as the issues that concern our nation, they all reflect a dedication to service. Members of Parliament come to Ottawa because Canadians have chosen them to be their representatives. Over the past year, they have carried out that role, introducing and debating legislation on such topics as the environment, trade, health, security and international aid. They have brought their constituents' views to the national stage by presenting petitions from Canadians and holding debates on issues in which the public has expressed interest. Their commitment to service also extends beyond Canada's borders, and Members have reached out to parliamentarians in Africa and Europe over the past year in order both to share experiences with and to learn from them. This report offers representative examples of these activities in words and in images.
There is another side to the House of Commons that is also devoted to service. The House Administration has a wide range of employees-proceduralists, computer experts, printers, chefs, lawyers, administrative staff, financial experts, cleaners, security personnel-all of whom assist Members and the public in many ways. They ensure that the procedures they follow, and the technology and tools that they employ result in high-quality service to Members and Canadians and the sound stewardship of resources. Over the past year, for example, the House Administration has published a large volume of information online and has upgraded services supporting constituency communications. It has introduced policies, governance structures and systems to enhance all aspects of its activities, from financial management and security services to printing and asset management.
In this year's Report to Canadians, we are profiling the work of House of Commons committees. Committees play an important role in the legislative process through their detailed study of legislation. Over the years, they have also advanced our understanding of major issues and helped us move forward as a nation by considering such subjects as the national flag, the Constitution, health care and employment insurance. I hope that you enjoy the "vignettes" on committee activities as you learn about the work of Members and the House of Commons Administration.
Peter Milliken, M.P.
Speaker of the House of Commons