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The Speech from the Throne marks the return of Parliament

At the opening of a session of Parliament, all eyes turn to the Red Chamber where an ancient tradition takes place. 

Read in the Senate Chamber, the Speech from the Throne is an integral part of the opening of a new session of Parliament. It takes place after an election or when Parliament resumes following a prorogation

The governor general, who represents the Monarch in Canada, presides over this solemn and formal ceremony.

This page contains everything you need to know about the Speech from the Throne ceremony. 

Speech from the throne explainer

information icon WHY

The Senate and the House of Commons can’t open a parliamentary session on their own authority.

No public business can be conducted by the Senate or the House until after the Speech from the Throne is read.

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The throne speech is a summary of the government’s goals for the new parliamentary session.

It is read by the governor general, but the Prime Minister’s Office writes it.

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The throne speech takes place inside the Senate Chamber, where the thrones are found.

It’s not held in the House of Commons because, by tradition, the Queen and senators are forbidden from entering the Lower Chamber.

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The speech takes place after a general election or prorogation of Parliament (a break that occurs between parliamentary sessions).

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The governor general usually reads the Speech from the Throne in the Senate Chamber.

The governor general is the Queen’s representative in Parliament.

gears icon HOW

The Usher of the Black Rod leads the Senate Speaker’s parade into the Senate Chamber.

Once the governor general arrives, the Usher summons MPs to the Red Chamber.

The Usher has to knock three times on the House of Commons door with the base of the black rod to deliver his message.

After MPs arrive at the entrance to the Senate Chamber, they watch the ceremony with other parliamentarians and Supreme Court justices.

When the throne speech is over, the Usher leads the parade out of the Senate Chamber.

Speech from the throne by the numbers

Speech from the throne fun facts


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