Canada 2017 travel blog

The Saskatchewan Legislative Building in Regina

Part of the Rotunda

The Parliamentary Library

The Chamber. It must be intimidating for the 11 Opposition Members sitting...

Queen Elizabeth on her Canadian horse

I didn’t have far to go today – just about 100 km but the first 35 km was over a very rough road so it was slow. I’d booked into an RV Park on the east side of Regina & was hoping to find a parking place somewhere near the centre of town so I could have a look around the capital of Saskatchewan.

I found a good 2 hour park on a side street near the museum & not far from the Legislative Building which is what I wanted to see. It’s a very impressive building, one of the largest legislative buildings in Canada, & was the vision of Saskatchewan’s first premier, Walter Scott.

Scott was a remarkable man. He was elected to federal politics in 1900 after a successful newspaper career as owner of the Regina Leader & Moose Jaw Times. He helped craft the legislation that created the provinces of Alberta & Saskatchewan & was elected Saskatchewan’s first Premier in 1905.

Believing that Saskatchewan would grow into one of Canada’s most populous provinces (it’s never come close to his estimate of 10 million – current population is just under 2 million), he immediately started work on this grand building & it was completed by 1912.

He spared no expense either. There are 34 different kinds of marble & the 5 ton main pillars in the rotunda are made from rare green-veined marble from Corsica.

I wasn’t sure whether the building was open for visitors so I asked some gardeners who were planting tulips out the front & they said the doors were open so I went straight in through the front doors. There seemed to be no security of any kind but the bloke behind the desk told me there was a free tour of the building due to start in 10 minutes. How lucky was that?

I was the only one on the tour so, of course, it lasted over an hour instead of the normal 30 minutes & was most interesting. Not only is the building very grand & beautiful, it has lots of history & from a base of zero, I now know a bit about the Canadian legislative system. Today was the last sitting day of the session & they finished early so I even got to go into the Chamber.

They don’t have an upper & lower house – apparently Quebec is the only province that still has a Senate & although the chamber was built for a legislature of 125, they only have 61 seats right now. The Saskatchewan Party has a whopping majority of 50 – 11.

Walking back towards where I’d parked the motorhome I came across a very nice statue of Queen Elizabeth sitting on her horse. Not so unusual until I read that this was her favourite horse called Burmese which was born & raised at Fort Walsh, Saskatchewan & was presented to her by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 1969. She rode him at the annual Trooping of the Colour until 1987.

It was a beautiful sunny day although it must have been cold last night because the water was frozen in my hose this morning. I wasn’t in any hurry to get up so I switched on my very efficient ducted gas heating & went back to bed for an hour.

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