I visited Ottawa earlier this month for their annual Winterlude festival, and to go ice skating on the Rideau Canal (an UNESCO World Heritage Site). Of course, I had to take a tour of Parliament. On the tour, I learned that the library is the only original part of the current Parliament building. The Centre Block burned down in February 1916, but the library was protected by it’s massive iron doors–and the librarian who happened to be working late, and was able to close them.
I also learned that Canada’s legislative information service is called LEGISinfo, informing Canadians about current bills and legislation, much like THOMAS informs Americans. Of course, Canada’s parliamentary system is a bit different from the U.S. brand of representative democracy that I am accustomed to. I’d better read up on how parliament works before my next visit!