The Speakers

The Senate and the House of Commons each has a Speaker. The Speaker represents his or her Chamber when dealing with the other parts of Parliament (the Monarch or Governor General, the Senate and the House of Commons). Each Speaker is also responsible for making sure that rules of
order are followed when his or her Chamber is sitting.

The Speaker of the Senate is appointed by the Governor General on the advice of the Prime Minister, usually for the life of the Parliament.

SENATE SPEAKER’S CHAIR

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This chair is for the Speaker.

This one is for the Monarch or the Governor General.

This one is for the Monarch’s or Governor General’s consort (husband or wife).

When the Monarch or the Governor General attends the Senate, such as for the Speech from the Throne or Royal Assent, the Speaker’s chair is removed.

HOUSE OF COMMONS SPEAKER’S CHAIR

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The Speaker of the Senate enforces the Senate rules (or makes sure they are followed) about the order of speaking and the length of time a Senator gets to speak. He or she also announces the result of votes.

Electing a Speaker is the first thing the House of Commons does when beginning a new Parliament. MPs choose which one of them will be Speaker by secret ballot. All questions during debate in the House of Commons are directed through the Speaker.

Whenever a Senator or an MP enters, crosses or leaves the Chamber, he or she bows to the Speaker’s chair.

Speakers must be neutral and fair. For example, the Speaker of the House of Commons must be prepared to enforce the same rules for the Prime Minister as for a Member of an opposition party.

Although the Speaker of the House of Commons is an elected MP, he or she does not vote on decisions unless there is a tie.

The speakers have important diplomatic and social duties outside Parliament. They are often asked to represent Canada at important international events and meetings. The speakers also meet and host foreign dignitaries and ambassadors.