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The House of Commons: Report to Canadians 2013

Report To
Canadians 2013

Year In Review

As Speaker of the House of Commons, I am proud to present this year’s Report to Canadians, which provides a snapshot of the work done by Canada’s Members of Parliament as well as a behind-the-scenes look at the supporting role played by the House of Commons Administration.

My duties as Speaker include maintaining order in the Chamber and chairing the Board of Internal Economy, which oversees all administrative and financial policy matters affecting the House of Commons. In both areas, ensuring accountability and providing transparency are important to all Canadians and we are always looking for ways in which we can improve.

As part of its commitment to transparency, the House Administration publishes not only this annual Report to Canadians but also a Strategic Outlook for each Parliament. Tabled in September 2012, the Strategic Outlook for the 41st Parliament clearly outlines the House Administration’s objectives and proposed initiatives over the life of the current Parliament.

In seeking to conduct the business of the House responsibly on behalf of Canadians, last year the Board of Internal Economy approved the House of Commons Strategic and Operating Review. This cost-reduction strategy will see House spending decrease by 6.9% by 2014–2015, and reflects our ongoing commitment to carry out our work in the most fiscally responsible manner possible.

Also in 2012, Canada had the opportunity to share its parliamentary practices with the world. The Speaker of the Senate and I were honoured to host the 127th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in the historic city of Québec in October 2012. With its focus on citizenship and cultural diversity, the Assembly welcomed more than 1,200 participants from 129 parliaments around the world. Parliamentary diplomacy is an important component of Canada’s international footprint; hosting such conferences helps showcase Canada to the world and forge important diplomatic ties with our parliamentary counterparts across the globe.

Whether you’re reading this Report to Canadians in its new online format or as a printed file, I invite you to take the time to explore its story of the past year. In the Members’ Snapshot section, you’ll find demographic information about Canada’s 308 elected Members of Parliament, while the summary of Members’ Activities highlights how Members fulfilled their responsibilities in the Chamber, in committees and on the world stage over the course of the fiscal year.

On behalf of all Members and the House of Commons Administration, I hope you enjoy this glimpse into the work carried out in the House on behalf of all Canadians.

Andrew Scheer, M.P.
Speaker of the House of Commons

Learn more about the Speaker’s role in presiding over the House of Commons

Photo of Andrew Scheer, M.P. Speaker of the House of Commons

Year In Review

The annual Report to Canadians is an opportunity for the House of Commons Administration to communicate its usually behind-the-scenes work and achievements to Canadians.

As Clerk of the House of Commons, I report to the Speaker of the House and advise him—and all Members of Parliament—on the interpretation of parliamentary rules, precedents and practices. Outside the Chamber, it is my responsibility to ensure the House Administration is operating in a manner that reflects sound governance practices. I could not do such important work without the support of my management team, which is made up of experts in the fields of parliamentary procedure, information technology, security, human resources, corporate planning, communications, finance and law.

Guided by three core values—professional excellence, respect for the democratic process, and a commitment to balancing continuity and change—the House Administration’s mandate is to provide impartial advice, services and support to all Members of Parliament. Over the past year, this has led us to review all of our administrative practices and to initiate changes in order to meet the objectives of the Strategic and Operating Review all while preparing for the eventual closing of the Centre Block, including the Chamber, as part of the long-term renovation project.

For more details about the activities of the House Administration, I invite you to consult the Performance Review section of this Report to Canadians. It provides an update on several of the major projects that have been undertaken to advance the strategic objectives set out in the Strategic Outlook for the 41st Parliament.

I am extremely proud of the work outlined in this report. On behalf of the entire staff of the House of Commons Administration, it is my privilege to present Canadians with this unique glimpse into the work we do each day in support of Canada’s Members of Parliament.

Audrey O’Brien
Clerk of the House of Commons

Learn more about how the Clerk supports Members’ parliamentary activities

Photo of Audrey O'Brien. Clerk of the House of Commons