House of Commons Hansard #1 of the 40th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was ballot.


Sitting ResumedElection of SpeakerFirst Session--40Th Parliament

4:20 p.m.


The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Hon. members, I beg to return my humble acknowledgement to the House for the great honour you have been pleased to confer upon me by choosing me to be your Speaker.

Thank you very much, my dear colleagues. It is a pleasure to be back here. I have looked forward to it for a while now, since the election was over on October 14. As I said earlier today in my remarks to you, I want to thank you for your support today, but also to welcome the new members to the House.

I know that there are more than 60 new members. Welcome to the House and I hope that your experience as members in this wonderful place will be great for both you and the constituents who elected you.

I want to also thank the electors of Kingston and the Islands who returned me to the House again. I see there are a number of us from the class of '88 here today. I know we have all enjoyed the experience except that we are dwindling in numbers. That is part of it, but the experience on the whole is excellent. I want to say what a treat it has been to work in the House of Commons for all these years and to be back after this last election.

I want to thank the electors of Kingston and the Islands for sending me back once more. It is a pleasure working with them and serving them in the House.

I also want to thank you for all the support you have given me over the last seven years as your Speaker. I have enjoyed my opportunities to meet and discuss issues with you.

Sometimes each party has a different opinion on certain questions asked of the Speaker. However, even that provides us with an opportunity to share ideas and work together.

I hope that the party leaders in the House and I, and all of the other members, if necessary, can start working together tomorrow as usual to organize House business, at least from a procedural point of view.

I hope we can arrange to make the chamber more orderly and I know the new members will urge their noisier colleagues to tone things down so we can have quieter, more productive chamber. That is our hope.

Finally, if I may, I would like to point out the presence of my family members in the gallery today. I usually do this on this occasion. My mother is here for the fourth time for this election. Three of my sisters and my brother are also here, Katherine, Amanda, Elizabeth and Bill. I am delighted they are here, and I see some of my in-laws as well as my niece and nephew. I thank them for being here today.

It is always a bit of a show here in the House and I am sure they have enjoyed it.

To all members, I express my profound thanks. Might I suggest that if, after a few other comments, members would care to drop by the office behind here for a little refreshment, we would be pleased to welcome all hon. members.

Before the Prime Minister speaks, there is one little procedural matter to deal with.

And the mace having been laid upon the table:

Sitting ResumedElection of SpeakerFirst Session--40Th Parliament

4:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta


Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate you on behalf of the government for your re-election as Speaker of this House. It is a well-deserved honour.

Mr. Speaker, once again, as the Leader of the Opposition and I led you forward, you demonstrated your fierce reluctance to take this post. I would point out to everyone that if it looked tough leading you to the chair in these past five minutes, imagine what it was like over the past five hours.

Mr. Speaker, your re-election for the fourth time is an affirmation of the confidence your colleagues have in your abilities. Your fellow parliamentarians have by secret ballot entrusted you with the all important duty of overseeing the proceedings of this chamber. You have demonstrated each and every time, time and time again, under different circumstances, why they have entrusted you with these responsibilities. You have demonstrated in seven years an indepth knowledge of parliamentary procedure and treated all members with respect, and you have demonstrated a commitment to fairness.

Although we are not members of the same political party, we do share the desire to defend the interests of Canadian workers and Canadian families.

As members of Parliament, especially in times likes these, especially in a minority Parliament, it is our foremost duty to work for the common good.

Today I believe a clear message has been sent. Your colleagues have expressed their desire to see better order prevail in this House, and I am confident that you will ensure that our debates are productive and civilized.

In closing, once again, I know I speak for all members of the government side when I congratulate you on your re-election. I can assure you that on the government side, Mr. Speaker, we will do our utmost to make your sometimes very difficult job as easy as we can make it.

Sitting ResumedElection of SpeakerFirst Session--40Th Parliament

4:25 p.m.


The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I thank the right hon. Prime Minister.

Sitting ResumedElection of SpeakerFirst Session--40Th Parliament

4:25 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec


Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, may I begin by congratulating all the hon. colleagues who were candidates for this position of such fundamental responsibility in our democracy. I trust that you will take into account all the recommendations they have made in their speeches. Some of those recommendations were really extremely pertinent.

I would like to add my personal congratulations on your re-election which, as the Prime Minister has said, is indicative of the respect your colleagues have for you.

At a time when Canada has a minority government and is facing economic turmoil, we need to have cooperation more than ever. We need to have decorum and mutual respect. We all count on you to help this House with that. It is a responsibility that we must all share as well. You may count on the official opposition to do everything to ensure that Canadians will have the House they deserve in these tough times.

The people of this country are really very fortunate to be able to count on someone with your depth of experience. You have a great love for this institution, and a profound knowledge of it, dating back to your student days in Kingston and at Laval —which have been referred to often. It will be a great pleasure to work with you and you can count on the cooperation of the official opposition.

Sitting ResumedElection of SpeakerFirst Session--40Th Parliament

4:25 p.m.


The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I thank the hon. leader of the official opposition.

Sitting ResumedElection of SpeakerFirst Session--40Th Parliament

4:25 p.m.


Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate you on your fourth election to the chair.

I also want to congratulate all the candidates for this important position.

I do not know how long your term will run. You know that your term runs no longer than our own and that no one can predict how long this Parliament will last, although I hope it will be at least a few months.

That said, I believe that we must improve the way we do business in this House. Everyone has called for greater decorum and more discipline. I believe that all parties have a duty to help make things better.

In the days to come, we at least will be making a number of proposals to ensure that all members conduct themselves in a more exemplary way and so that procedures are expedited, for example, when votes are held. I believe there are many improvements we can make. I know from past experience that we can work with you. Rest assured that we will help in any way we can.

Again, congratulations.

Sitting ResumedElection of SpeakerFirst Session--40Th Parliament

4:30 p.m.


The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I thank the hon. leader of the Bloc Québécois.

Sitting ResumedElection of SpeakerFirst Session--40Th Parliament

4:30 p.m.


Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, you tried to find me on the other side, but I am over here this time, and I am very happy about that.

Congratulations, Mr. Speaker.

I would also like to commend all the members who stood for election to the Speaker's chair. We are very fortunate that a group of members decided to step forward, because it is a reflection of the calibre of the members in this House. I extend my sincere thanks to all those who chose to take part in this election.

We are very fortunate to have members of Parliament of high quality who have stepped forward in this contest for the Speaker's role. It is a testimony to the wisdom of the electorate to have sent such members forward.

I could not help but note that two former New Democrats were quoted by candidates in the election, Ed Broadbent and Bill Blaikie. I thought that was interesting and significant. I certainly want to indicate that we all miss Bill Blaikie here in the House. It somehow does not seem quite the same without him here. I want to thank him again for his service.

One thing that became very clear to all of us, and which was raised in this discussion, is that we need to do a better job on behalf of Canadians to represent the kind of dignified and respectful debate that they look for in the House of Commons. I believe there may be a new sense that we are intent on doing that. I want to encourage you, Mr. Speaker, to use the powers that you have at your disposal to ensure that happens.

I want to make a commitment on behalf of New Democrats that we will do our very best to live up to the standard that was set out in the debate we have just had here.

Let us hope we can live up to the expectations of those Canadians who are counting on us to do some very important work in the months ahead.

Thank you very much and congratulations, once again.

Sitting ResumedElection of SpeakerFirst Session--40Th Parliament

4:30 p.m.


The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I thank the leader of the New Democratic Party for his kind comments.

I appreciate the fact that all members have referred to order in the Chamber. The other candidates who were running today mentioned this regularly in their speeches. I will be glad to be working with the members who participated in the election as candidates to encourage additional cooperation in this sphere among all hon. members.

I would like to thank all of the candidates for their work during our little campaign for the speakership.

Opening of ParliamentFirst Session--40Th Parliament

November 18th, 2008 / 4:30 p.m.


The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. I have the honour to inform the House that a communication has been received as follows:

Rideau Hall


November 14, 2008

Mr. Speaker:

I have the honour to inform you that Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, will arrive at the Peace Tower at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, the 19th day of November, 2008.

When it has been indicated that all is in readiness, Her Excellency will proceed to the Chamber of the Senate to formally open the First Session of the 40th Parliament of Canada.

Yours sincerely,

Sheila-Marie Cook

The Secretary to the Governor General and Herald Chancellor

This House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 1:30 p.m., at which time the House will proceed to the Senate where Her Excellency will open the first session of the 40th Parliament.

(The House adjourned at 4:36 p.m.)