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Letter from the Speaker

Photo of Peter Milliken, Speaker of the House of Commons

As Speaker of the House of Commons, I am pleased to present the Report to Canadians 2010, covering the fiscal year from April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2010. 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 Members and the institution.

Canadians elect Members of Parliament to represent them, but for many voters, the House of Commons-and the role of Members-is unfamiliar territory. While they are undoubtedly familiar with the daily Question Period they see on the evening news, this is only a very small part of a Member's day. The House of Commons is an institution with a large variety of inner workings, and the daily schedule here has many facets. This Report to Canadians will describe the components of the Members' day-to-day agenda.

Members work on behalf of Canadians in four main areas-the Chamber, committees, caucus and their constituencies-and as representatives of Canada. Activities in each of these areas require preparation beforehand and more work afterwards. Members consult with constituents and others to learn about important issues, they meet with other parliamentarians to discuss and debate, and they come away from committee meetings and sittings in the Chamber with further work to do. All of this work is done to represent their constituents.

The House Administration is responsible for the framework of the House of Commons-from providing essential daily services, to maintaining the complex infrastructure, to expertly advising on parliamentary matters. Throughout the Members' day, the House Administration supports them in many different ways.

A tangible example of the House Administration facilitating the work of Members every day is the second edition of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, released in 2009. This authoritative book on procedure in the House was edited by Audrey O'Brien, Clerk of the House of Commons, and Marc Bosc, Deputy Clerk. This new and substantially revised edition is part of a continuum of works documenting parliamentary procedure, and is often quoted in the House.

This report describes the Members' day at the House of Commons, their duties and those of the House Administration. It also highlights some of the accomplishments of Members as they represent their constituents and of the House Administration as it supports the institution. It includes statistics and photos of Members, details about the strategic objectives of the House Administration and a financial report. I hope readers will find it an interesting way to delve into the inner workings of the House of Commons.

Signature of Peter Milliken

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


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