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The Mace as a Symbol
Did you know the Mace is a symbol of authority that is held only by the Speaker of the House? The Mace is a gold-plated silver club, 160 centimetres long, and weighing 11 kilograms. It has a fancy decorated crown on the top of the club.
The Mace represents the Crown’s ancient authority and is used in the House of Commons, the Senate, and the legislatures of the provinces and territories. The legislature cannot make or cancel laws until the Mace is put on the table before the House’s Speaker.
A Mace was a weapon used by knights in battles or to defend their king in the Middle Ages. Eventually, when British Parliaments began to meet, the king would send a royal Sergeant-At-Arms with the royal Mace. The king did this to show that Parliament was under the king’s protection, and the parliament members were not to be harmed.
Canada’s original Mace was first brought into use in 1792, and was made of wood and brass. During the War of 1812, the Americans stole the Canadian Mace and took it back to the United States. The Mace was finally returned to Canada in 1934, and is now on display in the Legislative Building in Toronto.
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1. Use information from the reading to list 5 facts about the Mace.
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