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

Standing Order 112. See, for example, Journals, March 11, 1988, p. 2280; November 23, 1989, p. 78 (appointments of the Deputy Speaker to chair legislative committees); March 24, 1988, p. 2416 (appointment of the Deputy Chairman to chair a legislative committee); February 23, 1990, p. 1278 (appointment of the Assistant Deputy Chairman to chair a legislative committee); May 25, 1993, p. 2999 (Deputy Speaker appointing Members to act as chairmen of legislative committees).
Journals, December 14, 1989, p. 1011. When the Deputy Speaker (Marcel Danis) was later appointed to the Cabinet, the House agreed that he should continue to chair the special committee (Journals, March 6, 1990, p. 1290).
Standing Order 9.
When reproached for indulging in politics, Deputy Speaker LaVergne declared, “A deputy speaker is not supposed to be impartial when he is not in the chair. Truth holds a greater place in the house than the opinion of the hon. friend” (Debates, June 19, 1931, p. 2840).
In 1914, for example, the involvement of Pierre-Édouard Blondin (Deputy Speaker) in a by-election campaign gave rise to a motion moved in the House by Sir Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Opposition) “That in the opinion of this House, in the discharge of the duties and responsibilities of the Deputy Speaker toward this House, he is bound by and subject to the same rules as apply to Mr. Speaker, and that, therefore, he is disbarred from taking part in electoral contests” (Debates, March 5, 1914, p. 1362). Prime Minister Borden opposed the motion, arguing that the status of both the Speaker and Deputy Speaker was based on custom and should the House find it necessary to set rules for the Deputy Speaker, it would surely be necessary to do likewise for the Speaker. No decision was taken and the motion was withdrawn (Debates, March 5, 1914, pp. 1362-70).
Debates, March 20, 1931, pp. 173-80.
Debates, March 8, 1993, pp. 16577-81; March 9, 1993, p. 16685.
See, for example, Debates, October 12, 1979, p. 134. Some recent occupants of the Chair have taken the decision to abstain entirely from voting (David Kilgour, Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Committees of the Whole in the Thirty-Fifth Parliament (1994-97); Ian McClelland, Deputy Chairman of Committees of the Whole in the First Session (1997-99) of the Thirty-Sixth Parliament).
Debates, November 25, 1985, pp. 8777-81. Assistant Deputy Chairman Jean Charest took part in debate and a question of privilege was raised the next day. The Speaker ruled that there is no rule that would prevent a Presiding Officer (other than the Speaker) from speaking; “whether one should or should not do so,” he said, “is a question of judgment that various deputy Speakers have exercised in various ways” (Debates, November 26, 1985, pp. 8821-4).
See, for example, Journals, October 26, 1994, p. 829 (petition presented by the Assistant Deputy Chairman); June 19, 1995, p. 1784 (petition presented by the Deputy Chairman).
See, for example, Debates, February 27, 1985, p. 2542 (Assistant Deputy Chairman); February 25, 1993, p. 16461 (Deputy Speaker); April 21, 1997, p. 9986 (Deputy Chairman).
On one occasion, following the passage of a bill, the Deputy Speaker spoke briefly on it from the Chair (Debates, June 11, 1992, pp. 11870-1).
There have been exceptions. In the 1976-77 session, a private Members’ bill was sponsored by Gérald Laniel, then Deputy Speaker. The bill dealt with readjustment of electoral boundaries and (with several other such bills) passed through the legislative process in the House without debate, which could be taken as an indication that its contents were of a non-partisan nature (Journals, June 29, 1977, p. 1267; June 30, 1997, pp. 1279-80; Debates, June 30, 1977, p. 7236).
Peter Milliken was selected during a session to be Deputy Chairman of Committees of the Whole (Journals, October 29, 1996, p. 785-9); on November 28, a private Members’ bill, sponsored by him prior to his becoming a Chair occupant, came before the House for consideration at report stage.  The bill, an amendment to the Financial Administration Act, was concurred in, read a third time and passed without debate (Journals, November 28, 1996, p. 935; Debates, November 28, 1996, pp. 6889-90).  The sponsorship of another of Mr. Milliken’s bills was, by leave of the House, transferred to another Member after his appointment as a Presiding Officer (Journals, February 19, 1997, p. 1151).
On February 6, 1997, Peter Milliken, Deputy Chairman of Committees of the Whole, placed a question on the Order Paper and it was answered on April 15, 1997 (Debates, p. 9702).
Standing Order 7.
For further information on the opening of a Parliament, see Chapter 8, “The Parliamentary Cycle”.
In 1891, 1896, 1901 and 1935, the motion was moved by another leading Minister instead of the Prime Minister. See Journals, May 22, 1891, p. 159; August 27, 1896, p. 15; February 11, 1901, p. 20; March 11, 1935, p. 209.
Three Deputy Speakers have been opposition Members: George Henry Boivin (Debates, March 21, 1918, pp. 73-4), Robert McCleave (Debates, January 4, 1973, pp. 11-2) and Gérald Laniel (who served in two Parliaments, over a change of government—1974-79 and 1979; see Debates, October 9, 1979, p. 15).
The nominations of Robert McCleave (an opposition Member) and Gérald Laniel (an opposition Member going into his second term as Deputy Speaker) were seconded by the Leader of the Opposition (Journals, January 4, 1973, p. 13; October 9, 1979, p. 20). The nomination of Andrée Champagne (a government Member) was seconded by the Opposition House Leader (Journals, May 15, 1990, p. 1705).
Standing Order 7(2). The language requirement has been met in each Parliament since 1885. In 1918, Prime Minister Borden nominated an opposition Member (George Henry Boivin) for the position, citing in his remarks the paucity of experienced francophone Members on the government benches (see Debates, March 21, 1918, pp. 73-4). Since the late 1950s, a similar linguistic balance has also been met with regard to the Deputy Chairman and Assistant Deputy Chairman of Committees of the Whole, although no such requirement exists.
The motion to select Malachy Daly in 1885 was adopted on division (Debates, February 10, 1885, pp. 72-3). In 1911, the motion nominating Pierre Blondin was debated and then adopted without division (Debates, November 29, 1911, cols. 519-25). In 1918, a Member objected to the nomination of George Henry Boivin; but again, the motion was adopted without division (Debates, March 21, 1918, pp. 73-5). Only once has a recorded division been taken on the motion to select a Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Committees of the Whole; this was in 1962, on the motion to select Paul Martineau (Journals, January 18, 1962, pp. 6-7; Debates, January 18, 1962, pp. 5-6).
Standing Order 8.
With few exceptions, the motion has been moved by the Prime Minister; exceptions in this practice occurred in the selection of Deputy Chairman William Henry Golding in 1947 (Journals, March 28, 1947, p. 258) and Peter Milliken in 1996 (Journals, October 28, 1996, p. 778); and in the selection of Assistant Deputy Chairman Charles DeBlois in 1990 (Journals, October 2, 1990, p. 2050). In most cases, the motion is also seconded by a government Member; instances of seconding by opposition Members occurred in the nominations of Gérald Laniel as Deputy Chairman in 1973 (his fourth of five sessional appointments — Journals, January 4, 1973, p. 13), Ian McClelland as Deputy Chairman in 1997 (Mr. McClelland was himself an opposition Member — Journals, September 23, 1997, p. 13); the nomination of Charles DeBlois as Assistant Deputy Chairman was jointly seconded by two opposition Members (Journals, October 2, 1990, p. 2050).
The motion for the selection of the Assistant Deputy Chairman has twice been the object of a recorded division. In 1990, an objection was raised on the grounds that the opposition Bloc Québécois party had not been consulted (Debates, October 2, 1990, pp. 13657-8; Journals, October 2, 1990, p. 2050). In 1996, the opposition parties contended that the office should be held by an opposition Member; the motion nominating Pierrette Ringuette-Maltais was debated and adopted on a recorded division (Journals, February 27, 1996, p. 4; February 28, 1996, pp. 9-10; Debates, February 27, 1996, pp. 9-16; February 28, 1996, pp. 70-1). Also in 1996, the motion nominating a Deputy Chairman was decided on a recorded division, after opposition Members argued that at least one Chair occupant should be selected from the opposition; a government Member, Robert Kilger, was selected (Journals, February 27, 1996, p. 3; Debates, February 27, 1996, pp. 6-9). Later in the session, the nomination of Peter Milliken as Deputy Chairman was debated at length, closured and agreed to following a recorded division; in addition, the opposition moved an amendment (which was defeated) in order to have one of its members appointed to the position (Journals, October 28, 1996, pp. 778-9; October 29, 1996, pp. 785-9).
In 1997, Ian McClelland became the first opposition Member to assume the office of Deputy Chairman of Committees of the Whole (Journals, September 23, 1997, p. 13).
Standing Order 7(3).
Until 1931, Members who accepted certain positions in Cabinet were required, pursuant to 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 in 1931 to remove this requirement (see R.S.C. 1930, c. 52, s. 1).
Journals, January 16, 1890, pp. 2-4; February 4, 1915, pp. 2, 4.
Journals, January 21, 1890, p. 15; February 9, 1915, p. 20.
This part of the rule was amended in July 1955 to remove the reference to the Address in Reply (Journals, July 12, 1955, pp. 920-1).
Debates, January 14, 1960, pp. 3-5; January 18, 1962, pp. 4-6.
The House was informed of the death on March 5, 1935 (Debates, pp. 1415-7).
Journals, March 11, 1935, p. 209.
Journals, April 9, 1952, pp. 197-8.
Journals, October 5, 1970, p. 1192.
Journals, April 14, 1980, p. 22.
Journals, January 16, 1984, p. 72.
Journals, May 15, 1990, pp. 1704-5. In his capacity as Deputy Speaker, Mr. Danis had been appointed Chairman of the Special Committee on the Review of the Parliament of Canada Act (Journals, December 14, 1989, p. 1011). After his appointment to Cabinet, he continued, by leave of the House, to chair the Committee which continued meeting until November 1990 (Journals, March 6, 1990, p. 1290).
Standing Order 8.
Debates, March 28, 1947, pp. 1826-7.
See Appendix 4, “Deputy Chairmen of Committees of the Whole House Since 1938”, and Appendix 5, “Assistant Deputy Chairmen of Committees of the Whole House Since 1967”.
In 1952, Louis-René Beaudoin, then Deputy Chairman, became Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Committees of the Whole. In 1980, Rod Blaker, then Assistant Deputy Chairman, became Deputy Chairman. In 1990, Andrée Champagne, then Assistant Deputy Chairman, was selected to be Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Committees of the Whole, as had Eymard Corbin in 1984.
In 1970, Albert Béchard was appointed a Parliamentary Secretary, and the Speaker announced to the House that Mr. Béchard had submitted his resignation as Deputy Chairman of Committees of the Whole; the Prime Minister then moved a motion appointing another Member to fill the position (Debates, October 5, 1970, p. 8705; Journals, October 5, 1970, p. 1192). On June 30, 1986, Jean Charest, the Assistant Deputy Chairman of Committees of the Whole, was appointed Minister of State (Youth); no formal resignation was communicated to the House and a replacement was selected in the next session. In 1996, the Deputy Chairman of Committees of the Whole, Robert Kilger, was appointed Chief Government Whip and was replaced on October 29; no formal resignation was communicated to the House.
The Prime Minister indicated to the House that the Deputy Chairman (Charles Edward Rea) was seriously ill and that his wife, speaking for him, had requested that he be replaced (Debates, June 8, 1961, p. 6015). The motion proposed the appointment of Gordon Campbell Chown, “in the place of Charles Edward Rea… who is unable to carry on this duty because of illness” (Journals, June 8, 1961, p. 640).
Shirley Maheu was appointed to the Senate on February 1, 1996, during the intersession.
In 1982, the Deputy Chairman, Denis Ethier, resigned in protest against procedural tactics employed by the Official Opposition (Debates, July 8, 1982, pp. 19164-5; July 14, 1982, pp. 19321-6; July 21, 1982, p. 19555), and in 1990, the Assistant Deputy Chairman, Denis Pronovost, resigned following controversial remarks he had made (see Debates, May 31, 1990, pp. 12110, 12123-4; June 1, 1990, p. 12163).
Keith Penner and Rod Blaker were appointed Parliamentary Secretaries on October 10, 1975, and January 13, 1984, respectively. The Speaker informed the House of their resignations on October 14, 1975 (Debates, p. 8091; Journals, p. 754), and January 16, 1984 (Debates, p. 443; Journals, p. 74).
See Appendix 3, “Deputy Speakers and Chairmen of Committees of the Whole House Since 1885”; Appendix 4, “Deputy Chairmen of Committees of the Whole House Since 1938”; and Appendix 5, “Assistant Deputy Chairmen of Committees of the Whole House Since 1967”.
Speakers Brodeur, Marcil, Sévigny, Rhodes, Macdonald, Beaudoin, Lamoureux and Francis had all served as Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Committees of the Whole prior to becoming Speaker. Speaker Beaudoin had, in addition, served as Deputy Chairman of Committees of the Whole. In 1942, Thomas Vien was serving as Deputy Speaker when he was appointed to the Senate, and became Speaker of the Senate shortly thereafter.

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