Entrance in the House

After a Member’s election certificate has been received by the Clerk of the House and he or she has sworn the oath of allegiance or made an affirmation and signed the Test Roll, the Member is ready to take his or her seat in the Chamber. Members, whether they be newly elected or not, are not formally introduced to the House at the opening of a new Parliament. Customarily, only Members elected to the House in by-elections receive a formal introduction to the House.262 The introduction of a Member is ceremonial263 and is a convention not mandated by any statute or Standing Order of the House of Commons.264 The right of a Member to sit and vote in the House is in no way affected if an introduction does not take place.265

Introductions typically are done at the beginning of a sitting or before Question Period. When a Member is to be introduced, the Speaker begins by advising the House: “I have the honour to inform the House that the Clerk of the House has received from the Chief Electoral Officer a certificate of the election and return of (Member’s name), Member for the electoral riding of (Member’s riding)”. The Member, escorted by two Members of the House (normally the leader of the Member’s party and another Member of that party from his or her province), is then ushered from the Bar of the House up the centre aisle of the Chamber to the Table. At this point, the party leader will state: “Mr. (Madam) Speaker, I have the honour to present to you (Member’s name), Member for the Electoral District of (Member’s riding), who has taken the oath (or made an affirmation), signed the Roll and now claims the right to take his (her) seat”. The Speaker directs: “Let the Member take his (her) seat”. The Member then approaches the chair and exchanges greetings with the Speaker. The Member is directed by the party Whip to his or her seat. If other Members are to be introduced during the same sitting, the process is repeated.266 Customarily, if the Member being introduced is a party leader, he or she is escorted by two leading Members of the party, and the House allows the other party leaders to offer some brief words of welcome.267