Usher of the Black Rod of the Senate of Canada

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The Usher of the Black Rod of the Senate of Canada (often shortened to Black Rod; huissier du bâton noir in French) is the most senior protocol position in the Parliament of Canada.

The office is modelled on the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod of the House of Lords of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Black Rod leads the Speaker's Parade at the beginning of each sitting of the Senate[1] and oversees protocol, administrative and logistical details of important events taking place on Parliament Hill, such as the opening of Parliament and Speech from the Throne ceremonies.[2][3] Upon the appointment of the first woman to the position of "Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod" on October 20, 1997, the title was changed to "Usher of the Black Rod".[4]

Blair Armitage was appointed Acting Black Rod in 2013 for the third time, replacing Kevin S. MacLeod.[5]

The Usher carries an ebony and gold staff modelled after the one used in the House of Lords in Britain. The top consists of a crown and crest bearing the words Honi soit qui mal y pense and motif for George IV of the United Kingdom.

List of Gentlemen Ushers of the Black Rod (1867–1997)[edit]

List of Ushers of the Black Rod (1997—)[edit]


  1. ^ "The Senate Speaker's Parade". Parliament of Canada. Retrieved 2009-01-26. 
  2. ^ "Ushered out". Political Bytes (CBC). 2008-01-18. Retrieved 2008-01-24. 
  3. ^ "Notice of Vacancy, Usher of the Black Rod" (PDF). Canada Gazette Part I 142 (2). 2008-01-12. 
  4. ^ "Officers and Officials of Parliament". Retrieved 2008-01-24. 
  5. ^ "Procedural Officers and Senior Officials - Senate". 

External links[edit]