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Letter from the Speaker

The Honourable Peter Milliken, Speaker of the House of Commons

The Honourable
Peter Milliken, M.P.
Speaker of the House of Commons

Photo: © House of Commons/Bernard Clark

The activities described in this 2008 edition of the Report to Canadians reflect a year of wide-ranging accomplishments for Members of the House of Commons, and the administration staff who support them.

Covering the fiscal year from April 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008, this annual report provides an overview of legislative activities during the 112 days the House sat. It also profiles the activities of Members in directly serving their constituents and in giving voice to the concerns of citizens in the House and its committees. The role that Members play in promoting Canada internationally is also profiled in this report, highlighting international visits as well as events in which the House has played host to visitors from abroad.

The House of Commons has a proud heritage of being flexible in responding to changing demands and expectations. It finds new ways to meet challenges. These same characteristics are reflected in the work of the House of Commons Administration, which is also reviewed in this annual report. Innovative business tools have been developed to respond to the evolving role of Members and of the institution of Parliament. New approaches to using information technology are also described-innovations that herald the promise of efficient new ways for information to be published and shared.

The report outlines new and ongoing efforts to promote an understanding of Canada's legislative institutions, by offering an extensive range of training and information sessions, and
by updating and maintaining valuable reference tools on parliamentary procedure for Members. Equally important, the House Administration is committed to upholding the highest standards of public-sector governance to ensure accountability and transparency to Canadians. A range of management processes and best practices have been implemented-steps to sustain a modern effective workforce, enhancements to manage and share data, as well as strategies to improve the management of information and the transfer of knowledge.

Reaching out to engage constituents is an integral part of the work of the House of Commons and Members of Parliament. This important work is highlighted throughout this year's Report to Canadians. From celebrating the 30th anniversary of the live television broadcasting of debates, to profiling the many programs that invite citizens to come to Parliament and participate in and learn from its proceedings, the House of Commons continues to find new ways to engage citizens and sustain a dialogue with Canadians

Signature of Peter Milliken

Peter Milliken, M.P.
Speaker of the House of Commons