Section 38 of the Constitution Act,
1867 provides for the summoning of Parliament: “The Governor General
shall from Time to Time, in the Queen’s Name, by Instrument under the Great
Seal of Canada, summon and call together the House of Commons”.
The “Instrument” consists of a series of proclamations
issued by the Governor General on the advice of the Prime Minister
and published in the Canada Gazette. On the day that Parliament is
dissolved or prorogued, a proclamation is issued summoning Parliament to meet
on a given day.
It is issued at the end of the preceding session, in keeping with the principle
of the continuity of Parliament, whereby a session ends with provision made for
its next meeting. A second proclamation confirms or changes the date and may
set the time for Parliament to meet for the “Dispatch of Business” (the date
can later be advanced or put back). A third proclamation is issued if the time
for Parliament to meet was not announced in the second proclamation.
The opening of a Parliament is also the
opening of the first session of that Parliament. Two procedures distinguish it
from the opening of subsequent sessions. These are the taking and subscribing
of the oath of allegiance by Members and the election of a Speaker.
Following a general election, the Clerk of
the House receives from the Chief Electoral Officer certificates of election
for Members of the House as they become available. In order for the
elected Members to take their seats in the House, it is required by the Constitution
Act, 1867 that they first subscribe to an oath of allegiance.
As an alternative to swearing the oath, the Members may make a solemn
The oath or affirmation is administered by
the Clerk of the House or another designated Commissioner. At this time, the
newly sworn‑in Member signs the Test Roll, a book whose pages are headed
by the text of the oath or affirmation. The general practice now is for Members
to be sworn in prior to opening day, after the Clerk has received the
certificates of election returns from the Chief Electoral Officer.
Section 44 of the Constitution Act,
1867 provides for the election of a Speaker as the first item of business
when Members assemble following a general election. The Standing Orders provide
for the manner in which the Speaker is elected.
On the day appointed by proclamation for the meeting of a new Parliament, the
Members are summoned by the division bells to assemble in the Chamber, where
they receive the Usher of the Black Rod,
who reads a message requesting the immediate attendance of the House in the
In a procession led by the Clerk of the
House, the Members go to the Senate. There, a Deputy of the Governor General
is seated at the foot of the Throne, and the Speaker of the Senate addresses
the Members on the Deputy’s behalf, informing them that “… His (Her)
Excellency the Governor General does not see fit to declare the causes of his
(her) summoning the present Parliament of Canada, until a Speaker of the House of
Commons shall have been chosen, according to law …”. This means that the
Speech from the Throne will not be read until a Speaker has been elected. The
Members then return to the House and proceed to elect a presiding officer.
Following the election of the Speaker,
at the time fixed for the purpose of appearing for the formal opening of
Parliament with a Speech from the Throne,
the House again receives the Usher of the Black Rod, who conveys the message of
the Governor General requesting the presence of the House in the Senate.
The procession is led by the Usher of the Black Rod, followed by the Sergeant‑at‑Arms
(bearing the Mace), the Speaker, the Clerk and the Members. At the Bar of the
Senate, the newly‑elected Speaker stands on a small platform, removes his
or her hat and receives an acknowledgement from the Governor General, who is
seated on the Throne.
The Speaker addresses the Governor General by an established formula, as
May it please Your Excellency,
The House of Commons has elected me their
Speaker, though I am but little able to fulfil the important duties thus
assigned to me. If, in the performance of those duties, I should at any time
fall into error, I pray that the fault may be imputed to me, and not to the
Commons, whose servant I am, and who, through me, the better to enable them to
discharge their duty to their Queen (King) and Country, humbly claim all their
undoubted rights and privileges, especially that they may have freedom of
speech in their debates, access to Your Excellency’s person at all seasonable
times, and that their proceedings may receive from Your Excellency the most
The Speaker of the Senate, on behalf of the
Governor General, makes the traditional reply:
Mr. Speaker, I am commanded by His (Her)
Excellency the Governor General to declare to you that he (she) freely confides
in the duty and attachment of the House of Commons to Her Majesty’s Person and
Government, and not doubting that their proceedings will be conducted with
wisdom, temper and prudence, he (she) grants, and upon all occasions will
recognize and allow, their constitutional privileges. I am commanded also to
assure you that the Commons shall have ready access to His (Her) Excellency
upon all seasonable occasions and that their proceedings, as well as your words
and actions, will constantly receive from him (her) the most favourable
The claiming of privileges by the Speaker
on behalf of the House occurs only at the opening of a Parliament, and is not
repeated in the event a Speaker is elected during the course of a Parliament.
After the claiming of privilege, the session is formally opened by the reading
of the Speech from the Throne.
As previously noted, the swearing‑in
of Members and the election of a Speaker are the distinguishing features of the
summoning of a new Parliament for the opening of its first session; in subsequent
sessions, there are no such preliminary proceedings in the House.
The opening of a session—whether it is the first or a subsequent session—is
marked by the reading of the Speech from the Throne. On each opening of a
session, the House assembles with the Speaker in the Chair, receives the Usher
of the Black Rod and proceeds in due course to the Senate for the reading of
the Speech from the Throne.
When a session is opened by the Sovereign,
as occurred in 1957 and 1977, the message communicated to the House by the
Usher of the Black Rod is “Mr. (Madam) Speaker, The Queen (King) commands this
Honourable House to attend Her (His) Majesty immediately in the chamber of the
Honourable the Senate”.
When, as in most cases, the Speech from the
Throne is read by the Governor General,
the Usher of the Black Rod delivers a message to the effect that His (or Her)
Excellency the Governor General of Canada “desires” the immediate attendance of
the House in the Senate.
In the event of the death, incapacity,
removal or absence from the country of the Governor General, the powers of the
office devolve upon the Chief Justice of Canada. When acting in this capacity,
the Chief Justice is known as the Administrator of the Government of Canada.
The Speech from the Throne has been read on occasion by the Administrator.
The message conveyed to the House by the Usher of the Black Rod in these cases
is “His (Her) Excellency the Administrator desires the immediate attendance of
this Honourable House in the Chamber of the Honourable the Senate”.
The Speech from the Throne imparts the
causes of summoning Parliament, prior to which neither House can embark on any
It marks the first occasion, after a general election, or a prorogation, that
Parliament meets in an assembly of its three constituent parts: the House
of Commons, the Senate and the Sovereign, or the Sovereign’s representative.
The Speech from the Throne usually sets
forth in some detail the government’s view of the condition of the country and
provides an indication of what legislation it intends to bring forward. After
hearing the Speech, the Speaker and Members return to the House. If the session
is the first of a new Parliament, the newly-elected Speaker will have made the
traditional statement claiming for the House all its “undoubted rights and
privileges”. This is reported by the Speaker to the House on returning from the
The business for the day’s sitting then proceeds.
The routine items typically dealt with by
the House on the first day of a session are described below, in the order in
which they are normally brought before the House. As will be noted,
variations can and do occur.
Pro forma bill: Before proceeding to the
consideration of the Speech from the Throne, the House gives first reading to
the pro forma Bill C‑1, An Act respecting the Administration of
Oaths of Office.
Typically, the Bill is introduced by the Prime Minister; it receives first
reading but is not proceeded with any further during the session. Its purpose
is to assert the independence of the House of Commons and its right to choose
its own business and to deliberate without reference to the causes of summons
as expressed in the Speech from the Throne.
Report of Speech from the Throne: The Speaker reports to the House on the Speech from the
Throne, informing the House that “to prevent mistakes” a copy of the Speech has
been obtained; its text is published in the Debates. A motion is then
moved, usually by the Prime Minister, for the Speech from the Throne to be
considered either “later this day” or on a future day; it is usually adopted
without debate or amendment.
Board of Internal Economy: The Speaker may make an announcement to the House with regard
to Members appointed to sit for the duration of the Parliament on the Board of
Internal Economy, the body responsible for all matters of administrative and
financial policy affecting the House of Commons.
Membership of Standing Committees: On the opening day of the first session of each Parliament,
the membership of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs is
appointed and charged with acting as a striking committee for all standing
committees and standing joint committees.
This is effected by a motion moved without notice by a Minister, usually the
Government House Leader, and agreed to.
Election of Other Chair Occupants: At the beginning of a Parliament, a Chair of Committees of the
Whole (who is also Deputy Speaker) is selected for the duration of the
After consultations with the leaders of each of the officially recognized
parties, the Speaker announces to the House the name of a Member considered
qualified to be Chair of Committees of the Whole. Once the name of a
Member has been announced, a motion for his or her election is deemed to have
been moved and seconded and the question is put immediately without debate or
amendment. The Deputy Chair and the Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the
Whole are selected in the same manner for the duration of the session in which
they are chosen rather than for the duration of the Parliament. Since this practice
began in 2004, such motions have invariably been adopted without dissent.
Order for Supply: The Standing Orders require that, at the start of each
session, the House designate, by means of a motion, a continuing Order of the
Day for the consideration of the business of supply. The designation of
a continuing order for supply follows on the statement usually found in the
Speech from the Throne informing Members that they “will be asked to
appropriate the funds required to carry out the services and expenditures authorized
The motion “That the Business of Supply be considered at the next sitting of
the House” is moved by the President of the Treasury Board. By long‑established
practice, the motion is not debatable and is traditionally agreed to without
dissent. Once the motion is adopted, a continuing order to deal with supply is
placed on the Order Paper under Government Orders and any supply motion
to be considered by the House during the session will appear on the Order
Paper under this Order of the Day.
Other items of business, including
have been included on opening day. From time to time, the Speaker is notified
that a Member has vacated his or her seat in the House. When this occurs prior
to the opening of the session (whether the first or a subsequent session of a
Parliament), the Speaker so informs the House at some point during the day’s proceedings.
Members elected in by‑elections prior to the opening of a session have also
been introduced to the House on the first day of the new session.
A small number of sessions (see Figure 8.1)
have been termed “special sessions” in the Debates or Journals of
the House of Commons. From a procedural standpoint, there is nothing special
about a special session. The elements required for the opening and closing of a
session are present. If the special session is the first of a Parliament (as
occurred in 1930), a Speaker of the House must first be elected.
8.1 Sessions Identified as “Special” in House of Commons Debates
Opening day of the session
Last sitting day of the House
Number of sitting days
of World War I
of World War II
of railway transportation
facilities and war in Korea
in Middle East and events in Hungary
It will readily be noted that the special
sessions were short‑lived. They also shared certain characteristics:
Parliament was called to meet for a specific
purpose, which was the principal focus of what was in each case a comparatively
short Speech from the Throne;
The five sessions specifically designated as
“special” took place during a period when sessions were generally shorter, with
a fairly predictable annual rhythm of sitting and non‑sitting periods;
the special sessions were called in late summer or autumn, times of the year
when the House did not usually sit; and
The House in each of the special sessions
approved a temporary suspension of certain Standing Orders, with the aim of
expediting the business before it.
Other sessions of short duration, though
not officially termed “special” in the Debates or Journals of the
House of Commons, have tended to share the same characteristics.
 See Minute of a Meeting of the Committee of the Privy Council,
P.C. 3374, October 25, 1935, “Memorandum regarding certain of the
functions of the Prime Minister”, which stated that recommendations (to the
Crown) concerning the convocation and dissolution of Parliament are the
“special prerogatives” of the Prime Minister.
 See, for example, Canada Gazette, Part II,
Vol. 142, Extra, September 8, 2008, p. 4.
 For example, prior to the opening of the
First Session of the Thirty‑Ninth Parliament, a proclamation was
initially issued summoning Parliament to meet on February 20, 2006. A
second proclamation was later issued summoning Parliament to meet on
April 3, 2006, and finally a third was issued summoning Parliament
for the “Dispatch of Business” on April 3, 2006 at 11:00 a.m. See
Canada Gazette, Part II, Vol. 139, Extra,
December 1, 2005; Part II, Vol. 140, Extra,
February 9, 2006; Part II, Vol. 140, Extra,
March 17, 2006. See also the proclamation issued when the Second
Session of the Thirty‑Seventh Parliament was prorogued on
November 14, 2003, with Parliament summoned to reconvene on
January 12, 2004. A second proclamation was issued summoning
Parliament to meet on February 2, 2004. See Canada Gazette, Part II, Vol. 137, Extra, November 14, 2003;
Part II, Vol. 138, Extra, January 9, 2004.
The usual practice has been for Parliament
to meet for the Speech from the Throne in the afternoon. In 2007, Parliament
was summoned to meet at 6:35 p.m. See Canada Gazette,
Part II, Vol. 141, No. 3, Extra, October 6, 2007.
 When the House meets for the dispatch of business, the Clerk lays a
final certificate with the names of all duly‑elected Members upon the
Table; the certificate and list of names are published in the Journals.
See, for example, Journals, November 18, 2008, pp. 1‑7.
On one occasion, because Parliament was summoned to meet only three weeks after
the general election, the list of elected Members was not tabled by the Clerk
until the fourth sitting day (Journals, December 15, 1988,
 R.S. 1985, Appendix II, No. 5, s. 128. The
requirement stems from British practice dating back to the sixteenth century.
Amid the political and religious conflicts of the time, the Act of Supremacy
was adopted, requiring all Members to declare their belief in the Sovereign as
supreme governor in matters both temporal and ecclesiastical (Redlich, J., The
Procedure of the House of Commons: A Study of its History and Present Form,
Vol. II, translated by A.E. Steinthal, New York: AMS Press,
1969 (reprint of 1908 ed.), pp. 62‑4). For further information on
the oath, see Chapter 4, “The House of Commons and Its Members”.
 Affirmation is not mentioned in the Constitution. Instructions
issued by the Crown in 1905 allowed Members to take the oath or make an
affirmation (Beauchesne, A., Rules and Forms of the House of Commons of Canada, 4th ed., Toronto: The Carswell Company Limited, 1958, p. 13). For further
information on the affirmation, see Chapter 4, “The House of Commons and
 Section 128 of the Constitution Act, 1867, states that
the oath is to be taken before “the Governor General or some person authorized
by him”. For the Thirty-Ninth Parliament, the Clerk of the House of Commons,
the Deputy Clerk, the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel and a Clerk Assistant
were commissioned (Journals, April 3, 2006, p. 1). In the Fortieth
Parliament, the Clerk and the Deputy Clerk of the House were commissioned (Journals,
November 18, 2008, p. 1).
 Some of the parties have opted, on occasion, to organize group
swearing‑in ceremonies. In 1985, the McGrath Committee recommended, in
the interest of increasing awareness of parliamentary institutions, a televised
collective swearing‑in of all Members, in addition to the customary
private swearing‑in for individual Members (Third Report of the Special
Committee on Reform of the House of Commons, presented to the House on
June 18, 1985 (Journals, p. 839), pp. 57‑8). No
subsequent action was taken.
 Standing Orders 2 to 6. For further information on the election of
the Speaker, see Chapter 7, “The Speaker and Other Presiding Officers of
 The Usher of the Black Rod is an officer of the Senate whose
responsibilities include delivering messages to the House of Commons when its
Members’ attendance is required in the Senate Chamber by the Governor General
or a Deputy of the Governor General. On November 6, 1997, the title of the
Office was changed from the “Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod” to the “Usher of
the Black Rod”. See Journals of the Senate, pp. 165‑7, Debates
of the Senate, pp. 333‑43.
 A Deputy to the Governor General is a person, usually a Justice of
the Supreme Court, who exercises the powers of the Governor General on certain
occasions (Constitution Act, 1867, R.S. 1985, Appendix II,
No. 5, s. 14; see also Part VII of Letters Patent Constituting the
Office of Governor General of Canada (1947), R.S. 1985,
Appendix II, No. 31). Since the opening of the Fifth Session of the
Third Parliament in 1878, a Deputy of the Governor General rather than the
Governor General has received the House in the Senate prior to the election of
 See, for example, Journals of the Senate, November 18, 2008,
 The Speaker, elected by secret ballot,
is usually a government Member. There have been three occasions, occurring in
minority Parliaments, when opposition Members have become Speaker: James Jerome
in 1979 and Peter Milliken in 2006 and 2008. Both Mr. Jerome and
Mr. Milliken were the incumbent Speakers.
 The House is officially informed by the Speaker of the Senate of
the time fixed for the Speech from the Throne when the Members are summoned to
the Senate on the first day of the new Parliament. See, for example, Journals
of the Senate, November 18, 2006, p. 4.
 This message can be delivered on the same day as the election of
the Speaker (see, for example, Journals, December 12, 1988,
pp. 3‑4), or on another day (see, for example, Journals,
April 4, 2006, p. 11). Since 1994, the practice has been for the
House to adjourn following the election of the Speaker and for the message to
be delivered the following day.
 The tradition of meeting in the Senate accords with the practice
established in the United Kingdom whereby the rightful place of the Sovereign
in Parliament is in the Upper House—no monarch, or monarch’s representative,
having entered the British House of Commons since King Charles I in 1642 (Redlich,
Vol. II, pp. 89‑90). During the rebuilding of the Centre Block
following the great fire of 1916, the first session in the new building opened
on February 26, 1920. Because the Senate Chamber was not ready, the Senate
occupied the House of Commons Chamber on opening day, thereafter moving to the
Railway Committee Room elsewhere in the building (Debates of the Senate,
February 26, 1920, p. 1; February 27, 1920, p. 2).
 See, for example, Debates of the Senate, November 19, 2008,
 There is not now any question of the choice of Speaker by the House
being subject to approbation, confirmation or ratification by the Crown. In the
pre‑1841 legislatures of Upper and Lower Canada, however, it was
customary for the new Speaker to seek the approval of the governor. In 1827,
Lord Dalhousie, then Governor General of Lower Canada, refused to accept Louis‑Joseph
Papineau as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. The Assembly passed
resolutions declaring this action unconstitutional, and expunged the
proceedings from their Journals. The Governor General prorogued
Parliament and in a subsequent session Mr. Papineau received the approval of
Sir James Kempt, Lord Dalhousie’s successor. The practice of ratifying the
Assembly’s choice of Speaker was discontinued in the first session following
union in 1841, the Act of Union being silent on the matter (Bourinot, Sir
J.G., Parliamentary Procedure and Practice in the Dominion of Canada, 4th ed.,
edited by T.B. Flint, Toronto: Canada Law Book Company, 1916, pp. 92‑3).
 See, for example, Debates of the Senate, November 19, 2008,
 Bourinot, 4th ed., pp. 49‑50. On such an
occasion, a newly-elected Speaker attends the Senate and states only that he or
she has been elected Speaker, and that any faults be attributed to the Speaker,
and not to the Commons. See, for example, Journals,
October 1, 1986, p. 12.
 In 1986, Speaker John Bosley announced his intention to step down
as Speaker as soon as a successor was elected. The election took place prior to
the official opening of the Second Session of the Thirty-Third Parliament (1984‑88)
(Journals, September 30, 1986, pp. 2‑9).
 Journals, October 14, 1957, p. 8; October 18,
1977, p. 2.
 On two occasions, the wife of the Governor General shared in the
reading of the Speech from the Throne. Jules Léger took office as Governor
General in January 1974; in June of that year, he suffered a
debilitating stroke which affected his speech. During his tenure, four sessions
of Parliament were opened: on September 30, 1974, the Speech from the
Throne was read by the Administrator of the Government of Canada; on
October 18, 1977, it was read by the Sovereign; and on October 12,
1976, and October 11, 1978, the Governor General and Madame Léger shared
the reading of the Speech from the Throne.
 See, for example, Journals, November 19, 2008,
 Letters Patent Constituting the Office of Governor General of Canada (1947), R.S. 1985, Appendix II, No. 31, Part VIII.
 Journals, March 12, 1931, p. 3; May 16, 1940,
p. 9; May 16, 1963, p. 9; September 30, 1974, p. 8.
 See, for example, Journals, September 30, 1974,
 See Speaker Cockburn’s ruling respecting the first day of a
session, Journals, March 24, 1873, p. 58. In this ruling,
the Speaker referred to the procedural authorities Hatsell, Dwarris, May and
Todd. An exception to this established procedure occurred in October 1995,
when the First Session of the Fifty‑Third Legislative Assembly of New
Brunswick was called, pursuant to proclamation, and the Administrator made a
short statement after the election of the Speaker. The Assembly then proceeded
to consider a resolution concerning the distinct society status of Quebec. When this was disposed of, a message was read calling the Assembly to the formal
opening of the session on February 6, 1996. At that time the Speech
from the Throne was read by the Lieutenant‑Governor (Province of New
Brunswick, Legislative Assembly, Journals of the Legislative Assembly,
October 25, 1995, pp. 1‑6; February 6, 1996,
 See, for example, Journals, November 19, 2008,
 The Order Paper and Notice Paper is not produced for the
first day of the session. Should the government have one or more items of
business requiring the immediate consideration of the House, a Special Order
Paper and Notice Paper is published pursuant to Standing Order 55(1).
Before proceeding with the routine items of business, the Speaker informs the
House that a Special Order Paper has been published and tables
correspondence from the Government House Leader with respect to the bill(s) or motion(s)
placed on notice. See, for example, Journals, October 5, 2004,
p. 11; April 4, 2006, p. 11; October 16, 2007,
p. 4. For further information, see Chapter 12, “The Process of
Debate”, and Chapter 24, “The Parliamentary Record”.
 See, for example, Journals, November 19, 2008,
p. 11. For an example of an occasion on which the practice was not adhered
to, see Journals, August 29, 1950, p. 4, Debates,
pp. 1‑2. The House had been recalled to a special session that day
to deal with a labour dispute, among other matters. Instead of the usual pro
forma bill, the government introduced back‑to‑work legislation
which was read the first time and ordered for a second reading later that day.
 The introduction of a pro forma bill, a ritual act of
independence, has existed as a practice of the House since before
Confederation. It originated in the British House of Commons in 1558, being
confirmed in the following resolution adopted on March 22,
1603: “That the first day of sitting, in every Parliament, some one Bill,
and no more, receiveth a first reading for form’s sake” (Hatsell, J., Precedents
of Proceedings in the House of Commons, Vol. II, South Hackensack,
New Jersey: Rothman Reprints Inc., 1971 (reprint of 4th ed., 1818), p. 81).
See also British History Online at www.british‑history.ac.uk. By
custom, Bill C‑1 is introduced but not printed. Exceptionally, in 2008,
Prime Minister Stephen Harper tabled a document entitled “An Act
respecting the administration of oaths of office” (Journals, November 19, 2008,
p. 12, Debates, pp. 13‑4). The custom is observed in
other Parliaments where, in most cases, the bill is read a first time and not
heard of again until the start of the next session. The Australian House of
Representatives refers to its “formal” or “privilege” bill (House of
Representatives Practice, 5th ed., edited by I.C. Harris, Canberra: Department of the House of Representatives, 2005, p. 218). In the British House,
it is called the Outlawries Bill (May, T.E., Erskine May’s Treatise on The
Law, Privileges, Proceedings and Usage of Parliament, 23rd ed., edited
by Sir W. McKay, London: LexisNexis UK, 2004, p. 289). In the Legislative
Assembly of British Columbia, the pro forma bill is Bill 1, An Act to
ensure the Supremacy of Parliament. See, for example, Province of British Columbia, Legislative Assembly, Debates of the Legislative Assembly (Hansard), February 14, 2006,
pp. 2231-2. In Ontario, the bill is Bill 1, An Act to perpetuate an
ancient parliamentary right. See Ontario, Legislative Assembly, Official
Report of Debates (Hansard), November 29, 2007, p. 8.
 The text of the Speech from the Throne used to be printed in the Journals
as well as the Debates. However, since 1996, the text has been published
only in the Debates.
 The motion is debatable and amendable. In 1988, for example, the
motion was debated and adopted on a recorded division (Journals,
December 12, 1988, pp. 6‑7). In 1926, an amendment was moved,
debated at length and eventually negatived on a recorded division (Journals,
January 8, 1926, pp. 12‑3; January 15, 1926, pp. 28‑9).
For further information on the Address in Reply, see Chapter 15, “Special
 See, for example, Journals, November 19, 2008, p.
12. The announcement is made pursuant to the Parliament of Canada Act,
R.S. 1985, c. P‑1, s. 50(4). For further information on the
role and functions of the Board of Internal Economy, see Chapter 6, “The
Physical and Administrative Setting”.
 Standing Order 104(1). In 1962, however, such a motion was moved
and adopted by unanimous consent on the eleventh sitting day (Journals,
October 12, 1962, p. 63). Formerly, this Standing Order provided
for the appointment of a seven‑member striking committee at the
commencement of the first session of each Parliament. In 1991, the rule was
amended (Journals, April 11, 1991, pp. 2904‑5, 2922) and
the task of selecting committee membership became one of the duties of a new
standing committee, since renamed Procedure and House Affairs.
 See, for example, Journals, November 19, 2008,
p. 13. The practice of moving a formal resolution for the appointment of
committees without notice is described in the first edition of Bourinot
(Bourinot, J.G., Parliamentary Procedure and Practice in the Dominion of
Canada, South Hackensack, New Jersey: Rothman Reprints Inc., 1971
(reprint of 1st ed., 1884), pp. 231‑2).
 Standing Order 7. See, for example, Journals, April 5, 2006,
pp. 21‑2; November 21, 2008, p. 21. Standing Order
7(3) provides for the selection of a successor should a vacancy arise during
the course of the Parliament.
 While the usual practice is for the Deputy Speaker to be a member
of the governing party, in 1973, 1979, and 2004 the Deputy Speakers were
members of the Official Opposition. The Deputy Speaker
for the Thirty-Ninth Parliament (2006‑08), Bill
Blaikie (Elmwood–Transcona), was from neither the government side nor the
Official Opposition, but from one of the other opposition parties. See Appendix 3, “Deputy Speakers and Chairs of Committees of
the Whole House Since 1885”.
 Standing Order 8. They are usually from the government side;
however, the Deputy Chairman of Committees of the Whole in 1997 (Ian McClelland) and the Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole in 2004 (Betty Hinton)
were chosen from among the Members of the Official Opposition. In 2008, the Assistant Deputy Chair of the Committees of the Whole
was appointed from one of the other opposition parties. See Appendix 4, “Deputy
Chairs of Committees of the Whole House Since 1938” and Appendix 5, “Assistant Deputy Chairs of Committees of the Whole House Since 1967”. The timing of these appointments has varied. For example, the appointments have been made on
the first sitting day of the session (Journals,
February 2, 2004, p. 4), on the third sitting day (Journals,
April 5, 2006, pp. 21‑2;
October 18, 2007, p. 25) and on the fourth sitting day (Journals,
October 7, 2004, p. 31; November 21, 2008, p. 21).
 Prior to the adoption of amendments to Standing Orders 7 and 8 in 2004 (Journals, October 5, 2004, p. 14; October 22, 2004,
p. 136), debate was permitted on such motions. On rare occasions, these
motions provoked some dissent. In 1962, the motion to select the Deputy Speaker
was adopted after a recorded division (Journals, January 18, 1962,
pp. 6‑7). In 1990, the motion to select the Assistant Deputy
Chairman of Committees of the Whole was adopted on a recorded division (Journals,
October 2, 1990, p. 2050). In 1996, the motion to select the Deputy
Chairman of Committees of the Whole was adopted on a recorded division (Journals,
February 27, 1996, p. 3) and the motion to select the Assistant
Deputy Chairman of Committees of the Whole was also adopted on a recorded
division (Journals, February 27, 1996, p. 4;
February 28, 1996, pp. 9‑10). Later in the session, the post of
Deputy Chairman of Committees of the Whole was vacated and a motion was moved
selecting a successor. It was debated, an amendment was moved and negatived on a
recorded division; the motion was closured and later adopted on a recorded
division (Journals, October 28, 1996, pp. 778‑9;
October 29, 1996, pp. 784‑9). On September 30, 2002,
the motion to appoint the Deputy Chairman of Committees of the Whole was
debated and adopted on division (Journals, p. 2). For further
information on the election, roles and functions of these Presiding Officers,
see Chapter 7, “The Speaker and Other Presiding Officers of the House”.
 Standing Order 81(1). An Order of the Day is an item of business on
the House agenda (the Order Paper). “Continuing” means that the order
for the business of supply will remain on the Order Paper for every
sitting of the session thereafter.
 See, for example, Debates, September 30, 2002,
p. 6; April 4, 2006, p. 10. For further information on the
supply process, see Chapter 18, “Financial Procedures”. On occasion, the
statement has not been made in the Speech from the Throne (Journals,
September 8, 1930, p. 9; January 25, 1940, p. 8;
October 9, 1951, pp. 2‑4; December 12, 1988,
pp. 5‑6; April 3, 1989, pp. 3‑12; Debates,
October 16, 2007, pp. 3‑7; November 19, 2008,
pp. 14‑9). The Speaker ruled on May 2, 1989, that the Standing
Orders do not specify that a request for funds must appear in the Speech from
the Throne (Debates, pp. 1175‑7).
 The normal supply cycle may be disrupted by a prorogation or
dissolution of Parliament and in these cases, the number of allotted days in
each supply period may be increased or decreased. The Speaker must determine
and announce to the House the reduction or increase in the number of allotted
days for the current supply period. See Standing Order 81(10)(b) and (c).
See, for example, Debates, February 2, 2004, p. 10;
October 5, 2004, p. 15; October 16, 2007, p. 5;
November 19, 2008, p. 19. For further information, see Chapter 18,
 In 1996, Speaker Parent responded to a point of order raised in the
previous session on the first day of the new session after all the usual business
items had been dealt with. The point of order concerned the designation of the
Official Opposition, when events had resulted in an equality of seats between
the two main opposition parties. Although prorogation normally puts to an end
any outstanding business, the Speaker determined that the recent equality of
seats had created a new context and required an immediate statement on the
issue (Debates, February 27, 1996, pp. 16‑20). In
2004, Speaker Milliken made a statement regarding the seating arrangements for
the former Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative Members (Debates,
February 2, 2004, p. 1).
 See, for example, Journals, September 15, 1949,
pp. 10‑3; January 14, 1960, pp. 2‑3; October 9,
1979, pp. 17‑8; October 1, 1986, pp. 24‑5;
December 12, 1988, pp. 7‑8; February 27, 1996,
p. 2; October 12, 1999, p. 6; October 16, 2007,
pp. 1‑2. For further information, see Chapter 4, “The House of
Commons and Its Members”.
 See, for example, Journals, August 29, 1950, p. 4;
January 14, 1960, pp. 3‑4; April 3, 1989, p. 3;
October 16, 2007, p. 2. For further information on a new
Member’s entrance in and introduction to the House, see Chapter 4, “The
House of Commons and Its Members”.
 Journals, August 18, 1914, pp. 2‑3;
September 8, 1930, p. 9; September 7, 1939, p. 2;
August 29, 1950, pp. 4‑5; November 26, 1956,
 Journals, August 18, 1914, p. 3; September 8,
1930, p. 10; September 7, 1939, p. 5; August 29, 1950,
p. 5; November 26, 1956, p. 3.
 See, for example, the short‑lived First Session of the Thirty‑Fourth
Parliament (1988‑93), which is not specifically designated as “special”
in the Debates or Journals of the House of Commons. Parliament
met on December 12, 1988, three weeks after the general election of
November 21, 1988, to deal with a bill to implement a free trade
agreement between Canada and the United States. This was also the date set for
the return of the writs. The list of Members elected and the accompanying
certificate of the Chief Electoral Officer, usually tabled by the Clerk
immediately when the House meets for the dispatch of business, was not tabled
until December 15, 1988, the fourth sitting day of the session (Journals,
pp. 26‑33). On December 23, the House passed the bill and
pursuant to Special Order, adjourned, reconvened for Royal Assent on
December 30 and adjourned until March 6, 1989 (Journals,
December 23, 1988, pp. 80‑2, 84;
December 30, 1988, pp. 86‑8). Parliament was prorogued by
proclamation dated February 28, 1989.
Standing Orders may be suspended in sessions
of short duration not designated as “special” just as they may be in “special”
sessions. In 1945 (Sixth Session of the Nineteenth Parliament (1940‑45)),
the House agreed to give precedence to Government Orders for the balance of the
session and to treat Wednesdays (then a day of early adjournment) as other
sitting days (Journals, March 19, 1945, p. 3). In 1988
(First Session of the Thirty‑Fourth Parliament (1988‑93)), a motion
was adopted (and deemed rescinded on completion of the business at hand) to
extend the hours of sitting and suspend the operation of certain Standing Orders
(Journals, December 16, 1988, pp. 46‑9;
December 30, 1988, p. 87).