The Parliament Buildings are three structures situated around three sides of Parliament Hill's central lawn; the use and management of the areas within each building is governed by the speakers of each chamber of parliament. The current Speaker of the House is Andrew Scheer; the Prime Minister is also the president of the Senate.
The Centre Block is where the legislative branch of Canada's government meets - the House of Commons. It contains the seat of government for the province of Ontario, and was built between 1871 and 1888 to replace an earlier structure which had burned down. The block is a perfect square with a perimeter of 1.88 kilometers (1.15 miles) and is 88 meters (284 feet) tall. The roof is covered in copper, which gives it a green color when viewed from below on a sunny day. There are several towers spaced across the grounds of Parliament Hill containing more than 500 steps each, leading up to small balconies where MPs can meet their constituents.
The Library of Parliament is the main administrative office of the parliamentary library system. It is located in the Centre Block of Parliament Hill. The library was founded in 1868 as the private collection of Sir John A. Macdonald, the first prime minister of Canada. In 1971, it was made part of the national library system and took its current name.
Three structures The complex consists of three buildings: the Centre Block, which houses Parliament and is next to the Library of Parliament and the Peace Tower; and the East and West blocks, which are administrative buildings. The property is placed amid a landscape constructed in the picturesque manner. It includes manicured lawns, trees, and flower beds.
The complex has been used for ceremonial purposes since 1858, when it was selected by the government as the site for the new Parliament Building. The first building, now known as the Centre Block, was completed in 1959. The second and third buildings were both finished in 1977.
Today, visitors can enter the complex through two main entrances: one in the West Block and another in the Centre Block. Both provide access to a common atrium where security checks are done before entering the public spaces of the buildings. A third entrance is located in the South Block, which is not open to the public.
There are no rooms or chambers in the traditional sense in either the Centre Block or the West Block. However, there are several rooms in each building that are used for different purposes.
Parliament is bipartisan, however it is divided into three chambers: the sovereign (Crown-in-Parliament), the House of Lords, and the House of Commons (the primary chamber). The two houses convene in the Palace of Westminster in the City of Westminster, one of London's inner boroughs.
The House of Commons meets in Parliament Square to conduct legislative business, while the House of Lords holds its meetings in the Palace of Westminster. Lawmakers can pass laws, veto bills from the executive branch, and even override a veto by the president if they can muster the votes in both chambers.
A monarch is the supreme ruler of a country who is also considered the head of state. In most countries, including the United Kingdom, this role is fulfilled by a single person who is either the monarch or the president. However, some authorities include the monarch in the definition of head of state because they believe that there cannot be two heads of state at once. Others exclude the president from being a head of state because they believe that no one can be a head of government and head of state at the same time.
In parliamentary systems, legislatures write the laws and often have the power to dismiss the leader of an administration or cabinet. They may also remove members of the legislature from office for misbehavior during proceedings.