MPs hold special session to pay tribute to Queen

MPs return to Ottawa ahead of schedule for a “special session” on Thursday to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II.

The House of Commons will take this historic opportunity to allow MPs to pay tribute to his life and legacy, ahead of Monday’s national commemorations.

Scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. ET, the special rally is expected to include speeches from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as well as opposition party leaders. Afterwards, individual MPs will have an opportunity to stand and make remarks.

Depending on the number of elected officials who wish to speak, it is possible that the session will last until late in the evening and potentially extend over a second day. Thursday’s sitting will not include routine parliamentary business such as Question Period or legislative debate.

During her 70-year reign, Queen Elizabeth II was present at several key moments in Canadian history. In 1957, she became the first Canadian monarch to open Parliament and deliver a Speech from the Throne. In 1982, she signed the Royal Proclamation of the new Constitution Act, which included the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

This special event precedes the opening of the fall sitting, which has been postponed to September 20 to accommodate Monday’s commemorative events.