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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 name.

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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 SpeakerFirst 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 SpeakerFirst Session--38Th Parliament

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Liberal 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 SpeakerFirst 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 SpeakerFirst Session--38Th Parliament

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Bloc 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 SpeakerFirst Session--38Th Parliament

11:30 a.m.

The Presiding Officer (Hon. Bill Blaikie)

The hon. member for Cape Breton--Canso.

Election of SpeakerFirst Session--38Th Parliament

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

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

Election of SpeakerFirst 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 SpeakerFirst Session--38Th Parliament

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Bill Matthews Liberal 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 SpeakerFirst Session--38Th Parliament

11:35 a.m.

The Presiding Officer (Hon. Bill Blaikie)

The hon. member for Chatham-Kent—Essex.

Election of SpeakerFirst Session--38Th Parliament

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Jerry Pickard Liberal 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 SpeakerFirst Session--38Th Parliament

11:35 a.m.

The Presiding Officer (Hon. Bill Blaikie)

The hon. member for Brome—Missisquoi.

Election of SpeakerFirst Session--38Th Parliament

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Paradis Liberal Brome—Missisquoi, QC

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

Election of SpeakerFirst 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?

Election of SpeakerFirst Session--38Th Parliament

11:35 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Election of SpeakerFirst Session--38Th Parliament

11:35 a.m.

The Presiding Officer (Hon. Bill Blaikie)

Is there unanimous consent to dispense with the secret ballot and declare the candidate elected?

Election of SpeakerFirst Session--38Th Parliament

11:35 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Election of SpeakerFirst Session--38Th Parliament

11:35 a.m.

The Presiding Officer (Hon. Bill Blaikie)

I congratulate the hon. member for Kingston and the Islands and will do so physically in a moment.

Election of SpeakerFirst Session--38Th Parliament

11:35 a.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

(The Presiding Officer having vacated the chair, and the mace having been laid under the table, conducted Mr. Peter Milliken from his seat in the House to the chair)

Election of SpeakerFirst Session--38Th Parliament

11:35 a.m.

The Speaker

Hon. members, I want to return my humble acknowledgments to the House for the great honour you have conferred upon me in electing me to be your Speaker.

Those words are formal ones that I am supposed to say at the beginning of Parliament and that each newly elected Speaker has to say, so I want to make sure I have them correct, but I want also to thank each one of you, my colleagues, for having chosen me to be your Speaker once again.

I had the great honour and pleasure of serving as Speaker during the last Parliament. I greatly appreciated the support and help I received from the members of all the parties in this House during those years and earlier as well when I was Deputy Speaker during the 36th Parliament.

For the 38th Parliament to be here and to have a chance to work with you again of course is a great honour. I very much appreciate your support today in the withdrawal of all of you from being candidates, which is very flattering and for which I thank you, and for the chance to work with you again as we embark on what I have no doubt will be a very interesting Parliament. Whether it is long or short, it will be something in which we will have great fun throughout.

Election of SpeakerFirst Session--38Th Parliament

11:40 a.m.

An hon. member

Four years.

Election of SpeakerFirst Session--38Th Parliament

11:40 a.m.

The Speaker

However long, it will be an enjoyable experience for all of us. I hope we have the privilege of working together as we did in the last Parliament, sharing experiences here in the House and of course in the committees of the House and in the various meetings we have together.

I would also like to thank the voters in Kingston and the Islands who re-elected me.

Being Speaker is a wonderful privilege because not only do you have the privilege of serving as a member of Parliament for a constituency of about 95,000 electors but you also have the privilege of serving another constituency of 307 other electors in the House. That part of the job is entertaining too.

All of us share experiences as representatives of a constituency in our great country and all of us will work together to do the best we can for our constituents by our service in this House.

I am very grateful that the electors of my riding have chosen to send me back to this House. Of course if any of you want to come to Kingston you are always welcome to visit the city. I would be more than happy to show you around, assuming I am there, but when there are breaks in the House we might go. You are very welcome to come.

I invite you to visit Kingston. It is a beautiful city not very far from Ottawa.

The other group I would like to thank today is my family, who have come here in some numbers to be present for this occasion. My mother is here, Peg Milliken, and four of my sisters, Ann Campbell, Kathy McIlquham, Amanda Milliken and Elizabeth McLean. I believe my brother, Bill Milliken, has arrived, and my sister-in-law Pat Milliken and two of my brothers-in-law, Ross McIlquham and James McLean. They are all in the gallery at the far end. I am delighted they are here.

Election of SpeakerFirst Session--38Th Parliament

11:40 a.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Election of SpeakerFirst Session--38Th Parliament

11:40 a.m.

The Speaker

Only my mother is willing to stand but that is all right.

Their support of course in elections is very important for me. Many of them live in Kingston and help. Some of them live in other constituencies and some of you have mentioned that to me. It is always a pleasure to welcome them to Ottawa. I am glad they came today.

Finally, I want to say how much I am looking forward to working with each one of you.

I hope our time here will be very interesting and that cooperation will prevail on both sides of the House. I am here to help you. As I will say tomorrow, I am truly a servant of the House. I am at your service to help you in your work and I hope to do so often over the coming weeks.

To each of you I express my congratulations on your own election, my delight at being able to work with you again and my pleasure at you having honoured me by choosing me to be your Speaker. Thank you very much.

And the mace having been laid upon the table: