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On this day 150 years ago just a few months after the Dominion of Canada was proclaimed in Ottawa, Parliament opened and the House of Commons sat for the first time.

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The two Mace, one for the House of Commons and one for the Senate of Canada, symbol of the authority of the Crown as exercised through the elected Parliament. They are paraded every day at the opening of the Sessions in the House and in the Senate. Only the Sergeant at Arms can carry the Mace, followed by the Gentlemen Usher of the Black Rod and the Speaker.

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The original centre block of Parliament in 1867 which housed the House of Commons on the left of the photo and the Senate on the right, this building will be destroyed in 1916 by a fire started by a cigar butt left in the Reading Room.

So to mark this sesquicentennial today in the House of Commons several retired Prime Ministers were present, the Right Honourable Joe Clark (C), John Turner (L), Brian Mulroney (C) and Paul Martin (L).

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Also two retired Speakers were present John Bosley and Peter Milliken and some retired Senators all sitting in the gallery of the House of Commons.

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The Canadian House of Commons 

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Parliament today, much bigger than the original after its reconstruction in 1919.

 

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