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Dean of the House (Canada)

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Title: Dean of the House (Canada)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: John Costigan, Bill Blaikie, Speaker of the Canadian House of Commons election, 2011, Dean of the United States House of Representatives, Larry Kennedy
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Dean of the House (Canada)

In Canada, the Dean of the House is the Member of the House of Commons with the longest unbroken record of service who is not a Cabinet Minister, party Leader, House Leader or Whip.[1] The Dean is responsible for presiding over the election of the Speaker of the House of Commons at the beginning of each Parliament. The position is the equivalent of the Father of the House in the British House of Commons.

The current Dean of the House is Bloc Québécois MP Louis Plamondon, who was first elected to the Commons as a member of the Progressive Conservative Party in 1984.[2]

List of Deans

Member Party Entered House Became Dean Left House
John Costigan Liberal-Conservative (until 1906) 1867 1896 1907
Liberal (after 1906)
John Haggart Conservative Party 1872 1907 1913
Sir Wilfrid Laurier Liberal 1877 1913 1919
John Reid Conservative Party 1891 1919 1921
William MacLean Unionist 1892 1921 1926
Rodolphe Lemieux Liberal 1896 1926 1930
Charles Marcil Liberal 1900 1930 1937
Ernest Lapointe Liberal 1904 1937 1941
Arthur Cardin Liberal (until 1942) 1911 1941 1946
Independent (after 1942)
Charles Power Liberal 1917 1946 1955
William Rowe Progressive Conservative 1925 1955 1963
Azellus Denis Liberal 1935 1963 1964
Paul Martin Sr. Liberal 1935 1964 1968
John Diefenbaker Progressive Conservative 1940 1968 1979
Walter Dinsdale Progressive Conservative 1951 1979 1982
Robert Coates Progressive Conservative 1957 1982 1988
Herb Gray Liberal 1962 1988 2002
Charles Caccia Liberal 1968 2002 2004
Bill Blaikie New Democrat 1979 2004 2008
Louis Plamondon Progressive Conservative (until 1990) 1984 2008 incumbent
Bloc Québécois (after 1990)

Role in Electing the Speaker

Following a General election, or, the resignation or death of the sitting Speaker, the house meets to elect a new Speaker.[3] This was started in 1986, however at the time, Speaker John Bosley presided. The first time the modern election system for speaker was used was in 1994.

During these elections, the Dean of the House takes the role of presiding officer. In 1994, following the 1993 election, Len Hopkins filled this role as Herb Gray, the longest serving member, was in Cabinet.[4]


  1. ^ Election of the Speaker of the House. House of Commons. Canada. March 2006. Last accessed July 1, 2009. [4]
  2. ^ Campion-Smith, Bruce (May 16, 2007). "Veteran MP set to retire".  
  3. ^ Election of the Speaker of the House. House of Commons. Canada. March 2006. Last accessed May 17, 2015. [5]
  4. ^ "Hansard", or Publications of the House of Commons, January 17, 1994, Debates (No. 1). Last accessed May 17, 2015. [6]

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