06 October 2004

Throne Speech

Yesterday the Speech from the Throne was delivered by Governor-General Adrienne Clarkson in the Senate chamber in Ottawa, setting forth the priorities of Paul Martin's government.

CBC News

Here is CBC's coverage of the speech, including general background information and the text of the speech itself. Here also is information on what happens at the opening of parliament. What is different about this Speech from the Throne is that Martin's government is a minority government. His ability to accomplish much of what the speech promises is dependent on the co-operation of the other parties.

Here are some interesting facts about the Speech from the Throne:

The Governor-General, who delivers the throne speech, is invited to write an introductory portion; the remainder is written by the government of the day.

The Governor-General must deliver the throne speech from the Senate; parliamentary tradition dictates that the monarch or her representative may not enter the House of Commons.

The reigning monarch may deliver the throne speech personally, if he or she is in Canada at the time. This occurred for the first time in 1957, during Queen Elizabeth II’s visit [sic] to Canada.

Perhaps I should add to this last one that the Queen does not technically "visit" Canada; she comes home to a country of which she is queen in her own right.

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