Tribute to House of Commons Clerk Emerita Audrey O’Brien

Mr. Speaker, it is such an honour to stand and salute our clerk emerita, Audrey O’Brien.

I am without words to express my gratitude as a newly-elected MP coming to this place and embracing my new bible, a big green book, which I took home and read immediately. I am not kidding.

Audrey O’Brien knows how much, as does Marc Bosc, O’Brien and Bosc as a bible for an MP is a good place to start and return to frequently. In those pages I found things that nobody ever knew, that members of parties with fewer than 12 MPs were allowed to put forward amendments during report stage, something that certain other members of this place wish I had not found.

However, understanding the rules of Parliament and respecting Parliament go hand in hand. Without the rules, how can we have the respect; without understanding our traditions, how can we know our role?

I am deeply grateful for every moment of private counsel, friendship, and advice. I miss Audrey in this place. I wish her the best in retirement. I want her to know that not a day goes by that I do not reach for my copy of her bible. I thank her so much.