On January 21 and 22, 2020 new parliamentarians attended a charged orientation organized by the Carleton Initiative for Parliamentary and Diplomatic Engagement. On January 21, the orientation began at the Bank of Canada with tours of the Bank of Canada museum. Mayor Jim Watson provided an introduction to Ottawa and the CEO of the National Capital Commission, Tobi Nussbaum, explained the role that parliamentarians play in the national capital region. The MPs also heard from the Governor of the Bank of Canada as well as a panel of officials who spoke about the roles and responsibilities of the Bank of Canada, as well as its relationship to Parliament.

After lunch, the MPs and Senators toured the Supreme Court and engaged in discussion with Chief Justice Richard Wagner and Madame Justice Rosalie Abella on the role and work of the Supreme Court.  They then visited Rideau Hall for a discussion with Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette on the role of the Governor General. They toured Rideau Hall and learned about honours, heraldry and services to constituents. The day ended with a reception at Earnscliffe, home of Sir John A. Macdonald, hosted by British High Commissioner Susan le Jeune d’Allegeerscheque.

On January 22, 2020, the new elected MPs and newly appointed Senators met at the Sir John A. Macdonald to hear speakers and panelists from across the country.  The Clerk of the Privy Council spoke on How Ottawa Works. Nationally-regarded Canadians, including former MPs, heads of national organizations, pollsters, thought-leaders and individuals who have worked at the most senior levels of government, offered thought-provoking panels and briefings. Topics included engaging Canadians, life in a minority Parliament, a renewed Senate, Canada and the world as well as challenges and opportunities facing Canada. The Right Honourable David Johnston and the Right Honourable Jean Chrétien offered their thoughts and advice.

The orientation complemented the House of Commons procedural and administrative orientation and was supported by the House of Commons leadership and political parties.

Details can be found in the attached programme, summary notes, presentations and orientation materials.

Photo Gallery: January 21, 2020

Photo Gallery: January 22, 2020 – Caleb Groeneweg