Even in a pandemic, the speech must go on.
The new parliamentary session began with an unusual Speech from the Throne ceremony inside the Senate Chamber on Wednesday, September 23, 2020.
Following a 21-gun salute, Governor General Julie Payette, a limited number of senators and other invited guests — all wearing masks — took their places in the Senate of Canada Building, the Senate’s temporary home while Centre Block is being rehabilitated. Strict physical distancing measures were also observed.
Take a look at the photo gallery below to see key moments of the historic ceremony.
Senators made sure to sit apart as they watched Governor General Julie Payette deliver the Speech from the Throne in the Senate of Canada Building on Wednesday, September 23, 2020. (Photo credit: The Canadian Press)
Speaker of the Senate George J. Furey, Q.C. reads a prayer inside the Senate Chamber at the start of the official ceremony.
Usher of the Black Rod J. Greg Peters, left, escorts a masked Governor General Payette into the Speaker’s Office.
Governor General Payette speaks with senators ahead of the ceremony.
Normally, dozens of MPs crowd the Senate entrance to catch a glimpse of the ceremony. This time, only a handful of MPs took part. MPs are only allowed into the Chamber as far as the brass bar.
In a stark contrast from 2020, dozens of MPs filled the Senate entrance during the Speech from the Throne on December 5, 2019, as senators and several other invited guests inside the crowded Chamber looked on.