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Message from the Clerk

Photo: Audrey O'Brien, Clerk of the House of Commons

Respect for continuity and tradition and a capacity to respond to new challenges are characteristics that define Canadian parliamentary democracy and they are the traits that form the foundation of the House of Commons Strategic Outlook for the 40th Parliament.

In referring to the House of Commons, Canadians usually mean the lower House of the bicameral Parliament of Canada, the deliberative assembly to which 308 Members of Parliament are elected to represent constituencies across the country. This document looks at the House of Commons from an entirely different perspective: the reader will find here a look at the House as an institution and see the infrastructure that underpins the work of that assembly and supports 308 MPs in their various roles. The House of Commons Administration must support the work of MPs in two ways: as they act collectively-in the Chamber and in committees; or as each Member acts individually-as the representative of a constituency and as a member of a caucus or an independent MP.

The Strategic Outlook examines the institutional support that will be given to the MPs of the 40th Parliament. It sets out the long-term, strategic objectives for the House of Commons as an institution and identifies the major initiatives that the Administration of the House has undertaken to achieve them. We are building on similar work done for earlier Parliaments for there are certain fundamental strategic objectives that remain relevant and appropriate for a deliberative assembly like the House. But in this Outlook, we focus on establishing links between the projects and activities we invest in and the strategic objectives we want to attain.

Thus, the Strategic Outlook for the 40th Parliament articulates our mandate as well as our collective vision and the values we hold. Then, it identifies the projects and activities that will be carried out by the six service areas of the House headed by the members of the senior management group I chair as we carry out the Administration's mandate under the direction of the Board of Internal Economy and its Chair, the Speaker of the House of Commons.

The 40th Parliament will no doubt present both new challenges to be met and new avenues to strengthen this institution. I am proud to lead the team here, and I am confident that all House Administration employees strive to carry out their responsibilities in the highest tradition of parliamentary service. On behalf of all employees of the House Administration, I welcome this opportunity to inform Canadians about our work to sustain the institution and support their Members of Parliament.

Audrey O'Brien's signature

Audrey O'Brien
Clerk of the House of Commons

House of Commons Administration