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The House of Commons: Report to Canadians 2011

Our House is Everywhere

Photo of the Peace Tower during the winter

The House of Commons may be located in Ottawa but its influence reaches across the entire country: Members represent communities located as far as 4,000 kilometres from the Capital. Thanks to new technologies and tools put in place by the House Administration, when they are back at home working with the people in their constituencies, Members today can continue to access the information and resources they need at the House of Commons.

A House that is Accessible

In 2010–2011, the House Administration launched the Secure Parliamentary Remote Access (SPRA) system, which gives Members secure remote access to a rich set of information and services from their constituency offices and on the road. The SPRA pilot program, implemented for 20 Members and 8 House Officers in 2010–2011, will be extended to other Members and will continue to meet the evolving requirements of future Members.

Bringing Parliament to all Canadians

Because not everyone is able to visit Parliament Hill in person, it is important that information about this national institution be made readily available to all Canadians. To make it easier for people to find the information they are looking for, the public Web site of the Parliament of Canada ( underwent substantial redevelopment over the course of the year, including a redesign of its navigation features to make it more streamlined and easier to use and the renewal of the About Parliament section and the LEGISinfo portal.

In the Constituencies — Highlights from 2010–2011

In 2010–2011, Canada was divided into 308 constituencies—also called ridings or electoral districts—each of which is assigned a seat in the House of Commons. The Members who represent these constituencies have a responsibility to be available to the people who live there to discuss issues of concern and to help with access to federal programs and services.

Members keep offices and employ staff in their constituencies, allowing the public to connect with them at any time. They usually spend one week a month in their ridings, and longer in summer and from late December to early January. Members’ constituency time is typically very busy and quite varied. They may be asked to attend important events in the riding, assist constituents in their dealings with the government, or consult citizens on matters of importance to them and how best to address them.

Canada’s Constituencies

  • British Columbia: 36
  • Alberta: 28
  • Saskatchewan: 14
  • Manitoba: 14
  • Ontario: 106
  • Quebec: 75
  • New Brunswick: 10
  • Nova Scotia: 11
  • Prince Edward Island: 4
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: 7
  • Yukon: 1
  • Northwest Territories: 1
  • Nunavut: 1
Photo of Alain Bourque, employee of the House of Commons

“Every day on Parliament Hill, history is written right before our eyes. And I’m privileged to have a front-row seat. My contribution is to capture these debates as fully and impartially as possible, putting the issues into context and making sure I maintain the highest level of technical quality in broadcasting the debates to Canadians every day.”

– Alain Bourque
Television Director
Multimedia Services
Information Services

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