Archive for 2013-07-09

Parliament Hill   Leave a comment

While in Ottawa, we spent a lot of time on Parliament Hill. Obviously, it was The Place to Be on Canada Day. However, between preparations for the celebrations, as well as being the seat of government, there was a lot to see.

The day before Canada Day, we went out to take the tour of Parliament. Unfortunately, they were sold out by the time we got there–we were told that while they open at 9, there was a line as early as 8:30. We walked around, and some of the guards were meeting the visitors. This gentleman was very nice, taking off his hat to show it to my daughter. He explained it is bade of bear skin, but has an inner frame made of bamboo.
Caitlin, Rebecca, and the Parliament Guard

We then walked around the central building. We got to see the Peace Tower, which is common up front.
Peace Tower

The library was in the back. It was quite amazing.
Library of Parliament

On July 2, I got up before my family, and walked down to get tickets. I was there at 8:25, and there was about fifteen people in line in front of me. By 9, the line looped back on itself.
Line for Parliament Hill Tickets

I got the tickets, then met my family. After a quick breakfast, it was time to watch the changing of the guard.
Field at the Changing of the Guard 2

Sheathing their Daggers

Guns Ready

Parading the Colors

Marching Out

The Parliament building is quite ornate, with carvings throughout.
Door of England

We first entered the House of Commons. It is presided over by a speaker, who is simply a member of the House (rather than the primary member of the majority party). He sits in this green chair.
House of Commons, Speaker's Chair

The majority and opposition parties sit facing each other, two-and-a-half sword lengths apart. This is the opposition side (which I could get the best picture of from my vantage). The chair leaning forward is where the opposition leader sits, opposite the majority leader (the Prime Minister).
House of Commons, Opposition

We next passed through the amazing library (no pictures, please!), then to the Senate.
Canadian Parliament--Senate Chamber

The Senate is lead by the President of the Senate (the chair in front). The chairs in back are occupied by the Queen and her consort (or, in her absence, the Governor General and spouse).
Canadian Parliament--President of the Senate and Queen's Chairs

My degree is in political science, so it was fascinating to learn a bit about the political process in Canada (though I still need a Canadian “I’m Just a Bill” to really understand the process). We had a great time at the Parliament.
Guarding the Peace Tower

Posted 2013-07-09 by Mr. Guilt in Summer Vacation 2013

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