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Letter from the Speaker

As Speaker of the House of Commons, I am pleased to present the Report to Canadians 2009, covering the fiscal year from April 1, 2008 to March 31, 2009. This report describes the work and accomplishments of the Members of the House of Commons and the activities and initiatives undertaken by the House Administration in support of both Members and the institution.

Photo of Peter Milliken, Speaker of the House of Commons

Peter Milliken, M.P.

Speaker of the House of Commons

Photo: © House of Commons/Bernard Clark

In 1858, Ottawa was designated Canada's capital and construction began on the stately buildings of the Parliamentary Precinct. Since then, dedicated Members of Parliament have convened here to oversee the governance of this vast country. In 2008-2009, on the 150th anniversary of that debut, the Parliament Buildings and the traditions of the House of Commons represent a foundation and heritage for Members of Parliament as they work to govern our country wisely. For its part, the House Administration is adding to that base, ensuring the continued smooth functioning of the House of Commons, while keeping an eye on the road ahead.

The past fiscal year marked the end of the 39th Parliament and the beginning of the 40th, following an autumn election when Canadians voted in another minority government, the 11th in our nation's history.

In both Parliaments of the 2008-2009 fiscal year, Members voiced Canadians' values both in the Commons Chamber and in committee. They presented and discussed bills on a wide range of subjects from justice and the environment to immigration and the economy. Members also advocated for their constituents, brought national issues to the forefront and questioned the government on its policies and actions.

From Parliament Hill, Members travelled to meet their counterparts in other legislatures both in Canada and abroad to foster relationships, discuss common issues and share knowledge and expertise. As well, they welcomed international visitors to the nation's capital and its Parliament Buildings on behalf of all Canadians.

The House Administration provides solid support and innovation as Parliament continues to meet the changing needs of Canadians and their representatives. Upholding tradition while keeping an eye to the future, staff manages the increasingly sophisticated tools at the House of Commons in its long-standing commitment to efficiency, effectiveness and responsiveness.

One hundred and fifty-one years after Barracks Hill became the firm foundation for the inspiring buildings of the Parliamentary Precinct, I am pleased to present this report on the activities and accomplishments of the Members of Parliament and the House Administration as they help to shape Canada's future.

Signature of Peter Milliken

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


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