Quote from Hansard:
At 10:15 p.m., Her Excellency the Governor General having come and being seated upon the Throne —
The Hon. the Speaker said:
Usher of the Black Rod,
Proceed to the House of Commons and acquaint that House that it is the pleasure of Her Excellency the Governor General of Canada that they attend her immediately in the Senate chamber.
The House of Commons arrives,
Their Speaker, the Hon. Peter Milliken, said:
May it please Your Excellency,
The House of Commons has elected me their Speaker, though I am but little able to fulfil the important duties thus assigned to me. If, in the performance of those duties, I should at any time fall into error, I pray that the fault may be imputed to me, and not to the Commons, whose servant I am, and who, through me, the better to enable them to discharge their duty to their Queen and Country, humbly claim all their undoubted rights and privileges, especially that they may have freedom of speech in their debates, access to Your Excellency’s person at all seasonable times, and that their proceedings may receive from Your Excellency the most favourable construction.
The Hon. the Speaker of the Senate answered:
Mr. Speaker, I am commanded by Her Excellency the Governor General to declare to you that she freely confides in the duty and attachment of the House of Commons to Her Majesty’s Person and Government, and not doubting that their proceedings will be conducted with wisdom, temper and prudence, she grants, and upon all occasions will recognize and allow, their constitutional privileges. I am commanded also to assure you that the Commons shall have ready access to Her Excellency upon all seasonable occasions and that their proceedings, as well as your words and actions, will constantly receive from her the most favourable construction.
Speech from the Throne
Her Excellency the Governor General was then pleased to open the First Session of the Fortieth Parliament with the following speech:
Honourable Members of the Senate,
Members of the House of Commons,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
And everybody watching at home:
As the representative of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, I am honoured to welcome the newly elected members of the House of Commons on the occasion of the opening of the First Session of the Fortieth Parliament of Canada.
As is traditional for this position, my task today is to read the speech prepared by the right honourable prime minister, before the combined assembly of the House of Commons and the Senate. At my first throne speech, I was given the opportunity to add a few words of my own at the start of the speech, an opportunity I greatly appreciated, as I appreciate here.
Doubtless some people think it odd, even funny, that the Head of State of this country would be obliged to read a speech on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, that was written by someone else. Thus the elected representatives of this country have the power to get Her Majesty’s representative to say absolutely anything, so I can understand how the temptation to play with that power might be irresistible.
Therefore, I must begin by saying, I’m a little teapot, short and stout. Here is my handle, here is my spout.
Hon. Senators (Interjection): Oh! Oh!
Right Hon. Prime Minister (Interjection): You’re supposed to move your hands!
The Hon. the Speaker said: Order!
Her Excellency, the Governor General: I only have to read it. I don’t have to act it out. That’s the limit of my constitutional obligations. I checked.
Now, if I may continue.
Two days ago, the Canadian people elected a new government. The Government is honoured and humbled by the responsibility it has been given, and it will not shirk that responsibility. Two days ago, the Canadian people voted for change, a change in the attitude both in and around parliament, and we will implement that change.
Our first act, to be introduced at the sitting of the House later today, will be to insert the word “fun” in all Acts of Parliament, from which it is conspicuously absent. Once accomplished, we will call a meeting of First Ministers, to begin negotiations to insert the word in Acts of Provincial Legislatures, and the Bylaws of municipalities, thus preventing a fun imbalance in this great land.
We anticipate a hectic session in parliament as we strive to implement the policies Canadians have chosen, but we believe that there is no time like the present. Some of our policies, such as repealing the law of gravity, will take time to implement, possibly with significant investment in quantum physics institutes, but we can signal our intentions as early as today to make this country a leader in bold an outrageous policies to change the world — nay, the Universe!
In conclusion, the previous government said it would not try to do all things at once. That showed an unfortunate inability to multitask. During this fortieth parliament, the Government will bring forward policies that will change the way Canadians think about their politicians, about politics in general, and the strength of their democracy.
Honourable Members of the Senate and Members of the House of Commons: May Divine Providence guide your deliberations.
And may God help us all.
The sitting of the Senate was resumed.