usher of the black rod canada

The Usher of the Black Rod was the true star of Canada's Speech from the Throne

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette delivered the highly-anticipated Speech from the Throne on Wednesday but it was Canada's Usher of the Black Rod who truly stole the show. 

While Payette was addressing major topics like COVID-19 testing and financial support as well as creating more jobs, viewers couldn't help but take notice of the usher, many of who didn't even know he existed or what his job entailed. 

"Apparently there’s an “Usher of the Black Rod” and he needs his own dystopian tv show immediately," someone else wrote.

According to the Senate of Canada, the Usher of the Black Rod is a senior parliamentary officer and a floor officer of the senate who is appointed by the Governor in Council.

A 600-year-old parliamentary tradition, the usher's name is derived from the ebony cane he or she carries as a symbol of authority. The usher is a personal attendant and messenger of the Sovereign or the Sovereign’s representative when in Parliament.

Others poked some fun at the job title and even suggested a new one, given that he was, of course, wearing a mask. 

"Masked Usher of The Black Rod Steals The Show During Canadian Throne Speech," another Twitter user added.

The Black Rod, as he or she is known, has many important responsibilities in the Senate Chamber. This includes leading the Speaker’s Parade that opens and closes every sitting of the Senate.

The usher is also responsible for security within the Senate Chamber and its galleries and he is expected to be present on the Senate floor during the sitting and must permit or deny entry to the Chamber if the Senate or the Sovereign.

As the Queen's messenger, the Black Rod must knock three times on the House of Commons door with the base of the rod during the Opening of Parliament ceremony. 

Some took to Twitter to point out just how ominous the usher's job title really sounds. 

"Why does Usher of the Black Rod sound like a Dark Souls boss. A very scary one at that," someone commented.

Well, if anything, the Speech from the Throne helped us all learn about a truly interesting piece of Canadian history. 

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