In case of fire, Save the Black Rod
by Mitchel Raphael
MacLeans.ca on Friday, March 12, 2010
When the MPs are summoned to the Senate to hear the Throne Speech, it is the duty of the Usher of the Black Rod, Kevin MacLeod, to knock on the doors of the House of Commons with his ebony staff and invite the MPs down the hall. There is only one black rod, he says, although there is a backup mace for the Senate. In the event of a disaster or fire alarm on Parliament Hill, it is his job to get the rod out of the building safely. If he is not on the Hill, a security person is assigned to look after the rod.