House of Commons Procedure and Practice
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7. The Speaker and Other Presiding Officers of the House

Standing Order 4(5).
Standing Order 4(6). Those assisting the Clerk in the ballot-counting will have taken an oath of secrecy.
Standing Order 4(7).
Standing Order 4(8)(a).
Standing Order 4(8)(b). In 1986 (the only election in which Members withdrew after the first ballot), three Members withdrew their names (Debates, September 30, 1986, p. 3).
Standing Order 4(9). See, for example, Debates, September 30, 1986, p. 4. To date, this is the only instance of a withdrawal following the second or a later ballot.
Standing Order 2(3). This occurred once: in 1986, the House met at 3:00 p.m., the election process concluded after 11 ballots, and the House adjourned at 2:30 a.m.
For the historical background to this practice, see Laundy, pp. 14, 64.
See, for example, the remarks of Speaker Sutherland, the first to make his remarks in both official languages (Debates, January 11, 1905, cols. 3-4); Speaker Lamoureux (Debates, January 18, 1966, pp. 5-6); and Speaker Fraser (Debates, September 30, 1986, pp. 7-8). This is a convention of the British Parliament as well, where in addition the Speaker-elect must seek Royal approbation (May, 22nd ed., p. 239). Redlich describes the ancient custom of the Speaker-elect making repeated and exaggerated declarations of unworthiness, which prevailed long before the modern, non-partisan Speakership, when the office of Speaker was political and dependent on the Crown, and the attitude of its incumbent was characterized as “subservient” (Redlich, Vol. II, pp. 156-8).
This occurred in 1986, 1988 and 1994; in 1994, congratulatory remarks were also made by a private Member on behalf of the independent Members, by the Member who presided over the election, and by one other private Member (Debates, September 30, 1986, pp. 8-10; December 12, 1988, pp. 5-7; January 17, 1994, pp. 6-7). In 1997, a Member sought the unanimous consent of the House to deem the Speaker unanimously elected, and it was granted (Journals, September 22, 1997, p. 9; Debates, September 22, 1997, p. 4).
In 1963 and 1966, the Prime Minister briefly congratulated the newly elected Speaker (Macnaughton and Lamoureux, respectively) prior to making the usual suggestion for the suspension of the sitting (Debates, May 16, 1963, p. 5; January 18, 1966, p. 6). In 1874, after the election of Speaker Anglin, the Leader of the Opposition offered congratulations but went on to express misgivings about the government’s choice. In 1878, in speaking to the motion to elect Speaker Anglin (who had served as Speaker earlier in the same Parliament, resigned his seat and then was re-elected), the Leader of the Opposition questioned the choice of the government and raised a lengthy argument—in which the Prime Minister and another Member intervened—as to the right of Mr. Anglin to take his seat in the House prior to the election of the Speaker (Debates, February 7, 1878, pp. 2-11).
Standing Order 2(3). For daily meeting and adjournment times, see Standing Order 24.
Journals, September 30, 1986, pp. 8-9.
Journals, December 12, 1988, p. 3.
See Journals, January 17, 1994, p. 11; September 22, 1997, p. 9.
Standing Order 4(10).
Debates, September 30, 1986, p. 2.
See, for example, Debates of the Senate, September 23, 1997, p. 3.
See, for example, Debates of the Senate, September 23, 1997, p. 4.
Bourinot, 4th ed., pp. 49-50. See, for example, the presentation of Speaker Francis, elected during the Second Session of the Thirty-Second Parliament, and of Speaker Fraser, elected at the opening of the Second Session of the Thirty-Third Parliament (Journals, January 16, 1984, pp. 72-3; October 1, 1986, p. 12).
Standing Order 3(1)(b).
Standing Order 3(1)(c).
In 1984, the Mace was on the Table and was moved beneath it after the Speaker’s letter of resignation had been read by the Clerk.
No claim of privileges is made; this is done only at the beginning of a Parliament.
For the election of Speaker Bain, see Journals, August 1, 1899, pp. 488-9, and Debates, August 1, 1899, cols. 9062-4. For the election of Speaker Francis, see Journals, January 16, 1984, pp. 72-3; Debates, January 16, 1984, pp. 421-4.
In 1986, when the Speaker was elected at the opening of the Second Session of the Thirty-Third Parliament, the House met, prayers were read and, after some remarks by the outgoing Speaker who was to preside over the election of a successor, the Prime Minister was recognized (Debates, September 30, 1986, pp. 1-10).
In 1904, the Leader of the Opposition asked a question of the Prime Minister, and the sitting was then adjourned (Debates, March 10, 1904, cols. 1-5). In 1916, a new Member took his seat after the Mace had been placed on the Table (Debates, January 12, 1916, pp. 1-4); in other instances, this had occurred prior to the election of the Speaker (Debates, February 7, 1878, pp. 1-2; March 10, 1904, cols. 1-3). In 1917, the Speaker announced the appointment of a Deputy Sergeant-at-Arms, there were tributes to deceased Members, Orders in Council were tabled by the Prime Minister and a question asked of the Prime Minister before the sitting adjourned (Debates, January 18, 1917, pp. 1-5). In 1935, the only instance in which the Speech from the Throne was read later the same day, the Mace was placed on the Table and, immediately thereafter, the Speaker read the letter informing the House of the arrival of the Governor General in the Senate Chamber (Debates, January 17, 1935, pp. 1-2).
Speaker Anglin, who had earlier resigned his seat and the Speakership, was re-elected in a by-election and re-elected Speaker at the opening of the Fifth Session of the Third Parliament (Journals, February 7, 1878, pp. 9-10). Speaker Belcourt was elected at the opening of the Fourth Session of the Ninth Parliament (Journals, March 10, 1904, p. 10). Speaker Sévigny was elected at the opening of the Sixth Session of the Twelfth Parliament (Journals, January 12, 1916, p. 6). Speaker Rhodes was elected at the opening of the Seventh Session of the Twelfth Parliament (Journals, January 18, 1917, pp. 6-7). Speaker Bowman was elected at the opening of the Sixth Session of the Seventeenth Parliament (Journals, January 17, 1935, p. 2). Speaker Fraser was elected at the opening of the Second Session of the Thirty-Third Parliament (Journals, September 30, 1986, pp. 2-8).
In 1878, the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod arrived with a message from the Deputy Governor General for the immediate attendance of the House in the Senate Chamber. In 1904, 1916, 1917 and 1935, the arrival of Black Rod was preceded by the Clerk reading a letter informing the House of the date and time of the Deputy Governor General’s arrival at the Senate for the opening of the session. For pre-Confederation examples and British precedents, see Bourinot, 4th ed., pp. 172-3.
In 1878, Speaker Anglin’s nomination was not supported by the opposition. He is the only Speaker whose election was the subject of a recorded vote (Debates, February 7, 1878, pp. 2-12).
All Members apart from party leaders and Cabinet Ministers are considered candidates, unless they take the prescribed action to remove themselves from consideration (Standing Orders 4(1) and 5).
See paragraphs 8-16 of the First Report of the Special Committee on Reform of the House of Commons,presented on December 20, 1984 (Journals, p. 211).
TheSpecial Committee on Reform of the House of Commons, Minutes of Proceedings and Evidence, January 22, 1985, pp. 3:14-7.
Standing Order 4(10). For further information on campaigning, see Marcel Danis, “The Speakership and Independence: A Tradition in the Making” in Canadian Parliamentary Review, Vol. 10, No. 2, Summer 1987; John Holtby, “Secret Ballot in the Canadian Commons Elects New Speaker” in The Parliamentarian, Vol. XVIII, No. 1. It has also been noted that because the 1986 election took place in the course of a Parliament, there was prior opportunity for the House membership to become acquainted with the individuals on the ballot.
See references in Debates, April 21, 1998, pp. 5867-8, 5876. Following the general election of 1993, an unprecedented degree of turnover occurred, such that 205 of the 295 Members sent to the House of Commons were first-time Members called upon to elect a Speaker. (See Report on the Administration of the House of Commons for the 35th Parliament, p. 7, tabled on October 23, 1997 (Journals, p. 139).)
Press reports indicate that some candidates attended these sessions, and some did not; see, for example, Times-Colonist, January 15, 1994.
See reference in Debates, April 21, 1998, pp. 5867-8.
Constitution Act, 1867, ss. 44, 46.
Parliament of Canada Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. P-1, s. 53.
Constitution Act, 1867, s. 45.
See, for example, Journals, July 13, 1899, p. 426.
Debates, July 31, 1899, cols. 9060-1.
Journals, August 1, 1899, pp. 488-9. See also the account in Bourinot, 4th ed., pp. 171-2.
Journals, January 17, 1935, pp. 1-2; Debates, January 17, 1935, p. 1. It was reported that ill health had forced the Speaker’s resignation. Mr. Black continued to sit as a private Member, but was later hospitalized and did not contest the general election of October 1935; he recovered and, in 1940, was elected to his old seat in the House of Commons, where he remained until 1949 (Gary Levy, Speakers of the House of Commons, Ottawa: Library of Parliament, 1996, pp. 56-7). See also “Vacancy in the Office of Presiding Officer”, The Table, Vol. XXIV for 1955, in particular pp. 31-3.
Journals, January 16, 1984, p. 72; Debates, January 16, 1984, p. 421.
These views were expressed in letters written by the Speaker on September 5, 1986, to the leaders of the three recognized parties in the House.
Debates, September 30, 1986, p. 1; Journals, September 30, 1986, p. 2. Former Speaker Bosley sat as a private Member until the end of the Thirty-Fourth Parliament (1988-93).
Until 1931, Members who accepted certain positions in Cabinet were required, pursuant to sections of the Senate and House of Commons Act, to resign their seats and seek re-election (Senate and House of Commons Act, R.S.C. 1927, c. 147, ss. 13, 14). The Act (now called the Parliament of Canada Act) was amended to remove this requirement (R.S.C. 1930, c. 52, s. 1).
The Speaker of the House is an elected Member, and Section 39 of the Constitution Act, 1867 provides that “A Senator shall not be capable of being elected or of sitting or voting as a Member of the House of Commons”.
Journals, March 10, 1904, pp. 1-2, 5. The notification of vacancy was dated January 19, 1904; Mr. Brodeur was then re-elected in a by-election and took his seat in the House as a Cabinet Minister on March 10, 1904 (Journals, p. 10).

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