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PM, MPs to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth during House of Commons event

The House of Commons is being recalled today so that the prime minister, opposition leaders and MPs can deliver tributes to the late Queen Elizabeth.

Parliament initially was scheduled to return on Sept. 19. That date was pushed to Sept. 20 to avoid clashing with the Queen’s funeral.

The decision to recall Parliament early to allow MPs to mark the Queen’s passing came after Mark Holland, the government House leader, wrote to the Speaker’s office on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s behalf to ask that the House be recalled to pay tribute to the Queen.

According to the House of Commons standing orders, the Speaker must consider whether recalling Parliament is in the public interest before giving the order. A House of Commons official said this case was clear-cut. 

CBC.ca will be carrying the tributes live.

Full details of how the day will proceed is still being worked out and officials in the offices of the Speaker and the government House leader say Canadians will have to tune in on the day to see how the event unfolds. 

What we do know is that the tributes to the Queen may not be limited to a single day in the House. 

The day will begin at 10 a.m.. Once the House is sitting MPs will observe a moment of silence to mark the loss of life in Saskatchewan, before a motion is introduced and voted on to allow the day’s proceedings to unfold. 

The late Queen Elizabeth II, shown here sitting in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster in London in 2019, will be honoured in the Canada’s House of Commons Thursday. (Aaron Chown/Associated Press)

After that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will deliver his tribute to the Queen, to be followed by Official Opposition Leader Pierre Poilievre. Both leaders will speak for the same amount of time.

After Trudeau and Poilievre speak, the other party leaders in the House of Commons will deliver their statements. Leaders will not face questions. Once the leaders have spoken there will be a moment of silence for the Queen.

A parade of tributes 

After the party leaders are through speaking, every MP in the House will be permitted to speak for no more than 10 minutes.

That means the tributes to the Queen could continue all day and into Friday. 

After events in the House of Commons, Trudeau will travel to London where he, Gov. Gen. Mary Simon and High Commissioner for Canada in the U.K. Ralph Goodale will attend the Queen’s funeral. 

More dignitaries will accompany the prime minister to London — that list has not been publicly released.

Four members of the RCMP’s musical ride will be appearing in the funeral procession in London. They’ll be riding horses lent to them from the stables at Buckingham Palace.

Back in Ottawa, parliamentarians and dignitaries not attending the funeral in London will participate in a commemorative ceremony at Christ Church Cathedral. 

That ceremony begins at 11:00 a.m. but will not start until after the ceremony in London is over.

Events will kick off in Ottawa a little before that, at 10:10 a.m. with a parade featuring CAF members from the air force, army, navy and special forces. They’ll depart Cartier Square Drill Hall, behind City Hall, accompanied by the Canadian Armed Forces Central Band.

The parade will march past the war memorial and in front of the Parliament buildings, where 96 salvos will be fired into the air, one for each year of the Queen’s life.

96 salvos, one for each year the Queen lived, will be fired off in Ottawa on Monday Sept. 19 as part of Canada’s commemoration events. (The Canadian Press)

The service at Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa will feature hymns and readings.

The full list of speakers for the service has not been released yet. Albert Dumont, the Algonquin spiritual adviser affiliated with Christ Church Cathedral, is set to address the 600 guests in attendance.

The government said that the ceremony will include musical interludes by Canadian artists, a tribute video and an address from an as-yet-unnamed prominent Canadian.

The government said the full list of those attending the service will be released to the media the morning of Sept. 19.

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