House of Commons Hansard #1 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was work.

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The 37th Parliament having been dissolved by proclamation on Sunday, May 23, 2004, and writs having been issued and returned, a new Parliament was summoned to meet for the dispatch of business on Monday, October 4, 2004, and did accordingly meet on that day.

Monday, October 4, 2004

This being the day on which Parliament was convoked by proclamation of Her Excellency the Governor General of Canada for the dispatch of business, and the members of the House being assembled:

William C. Corbett, Clerk of the House of Commons, read to the House a letter from the Administrative Secretary to the Governor General informing him that the Deputy Governor General would proceed to the Senate chamber today at 11 o'clock to open the first session of the 38th Parliament of Canada.

A message was delivered by the Usher of the Black Rod as follows:

Members of the House of Commons:

It is the desire of the Honourable the Deputy to Her Excellency the Governor General of Canada that this honourable House attend him immediately in the chamber of the honourable the Senate.

Accordingly the House went up to the Senate chamber, where the Speaker of the Senate said:

Honourable Members of the Senate, Members of the House of Commons:

I have it in command to let you know that Her Excellency the Governor General of Canada does not see fit to declare the causes of her summoning the present Parliament of Canada until a Speaker of the House of Commons shall have been chosen, according to law; but tomorrow afternoon, Tuesday October 5, at the hour of three o'clock Her Excellency will declare the causes of her calling Parliament.

And the House being returned to the Commons chamber:

11:10 a.m.

The Clerk of the House

Pursuant to Standing Order 3, I would ask Mr. Bill Blaikie, member for the electoral district of Elmwood—Transcona, to take the chair.

Election of Speaker
First Session--38Th Parliament

11:30 a.m.

The Presiding Officer (Hon. Bill Blaikie)

Before I begin the proceedings I want to say what an honour it is for me today to be able to preside over the election of the Speaker. I did not think, when I was a member of the famed McGrath committee of 20 years ago when we recommended that the dean of the House of Commons conduct the election of the Speaker, that I would ever be in such a position to do so, but I welcome the opportunity.

Of course we are heading into a very unique Parliament and today we begin the challenge of meeting the expectations of the Canadian people that we will work constructively together in the way that they want us to do so.

The list of members who have withdrawn or who are ineligible as candidates has been placed on each member's desk and is available at the table.

The list of those members who are eligible as candidates has also been placed on each member's desk. It is available at the table as well.

Before proceeding, I would invite those members whose names are on the ballot and who do not wish to be considered for election to kindly rise and inform the Chair accordingly.

Are there any members who so wish to inform the Chair?

Election of Speaker
First Session--38Th Parliament

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

I want to join with my colleagues in expressing our appreciation for your 35 years of service, now sitting as our dean presiding over these moments.

After some serious consideration of this moment, I would like to say that reflecting on the nature and the character of this Parliament which we are about to endure, the 38th Parliament, I think it would be wise that a person of great character, quality and commitment to the Speaker's chair assume that role. Of course we have a very historic occasion with some great progress in parliamentary reform that is occurring.

I would like to defer my name and will be throwing my support to that man of character, the member for Kingston and the Islands.

Election of Speaker
First Session--38Th Parliament

11:30 a.m.

The Presiding Officer (Hon. Bill Blaikie)

I would say to the member that this is not an opportunity for endorsements. This is an opportunity to withdraw your name.

Election of Speaker
First Session--38Th Parliament

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Sherbrooke, QC

I am sure that I informed the proper officials that I did not wish to run for Speaker. I so confirm today and withdraw my name from the list.

Election of Speaker
First Session--38Th Parliament

11:30 a.m.

The Presiding Officer (Hon. Bill Blaikie)

The hon. member for Cape Breton--Canso.

Election of Speaker
First Session--38Th Parliament

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Cape Breton—Canso, NS

I would be pleased, to the comfort of the House, to have my name struck from the ballot.

Election of Speaker
First Session--38Th Parliament

11:35 a.m.

The Presiding Officer (Hon. Bill Blaikie)

Thank you.

The hon. member for Random--Burin--St. George's.

Election of Speaker
First Session--38Th Parliament

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Bill Matthews Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

I also wish to have my name removed from the list. My name being there has more to do with Canada Post than with my desire to be Speaker.

Election of Speaker
First Session--38Th Parliament

11:35 a.m.

The Presiding Officer (Hon. Bill Blaikie)

The hon. member for Chatham-Kent—Essex.

Election of Speaker
First Session--38Th Parliament

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Jerry Pickard Chatham-Kent—Essex, ON

I will admit that I was late getting my forms back and that is why my name is on the list, but I am grateful to now say thanks to my constituents for electing me and allowing me to come back and spend time in the House.

I also would congratulate you, sir, on your position and would ask that my name be withdrawn.

Election of Speaker
First Session--38Th Parliament

11:35 a.m.

The Presiding Officer (Hon. Bill Blaikie)

The hon. member for Brome—Missisquoi.

Election of Speaker
First Session--38Th Parliament

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Paradis Brome—Missisquoi, QC

I will be brief. I simply want to withdraw my name from the list.

Election of Speaker
First Session--38Th Parliament

11:35 a.m.

The Presiding Officer (Hon. Bill Blaikie)

I kind of like it up here and I am sorry that my time here is going to be so short.

Hon. members are aware that there is now only one name on the list of eligible candidates for Speaker. The House is in a peculiar situation as there are no precedents that spell out how to proceed when there is only one candidate for the speakership, but as we know, the House can do many things by unanimous consent. I am in the hands of hon. members. Is there unanimous consent to dispense with the speech by the candidate and the one hour suspension of the House?