The Honourable Keelan Buck, PC, CC, CMG is a two-time MPSPer who served as Clerk of the House of Commons during the 19th Model Parliament of Canada (MPSP20). During the 18th Model Parliament of Canada (MPSP19), he was elected Member of Parliament for Elmwood--Transcona and named Deputy Whip for the TOGA Party, later becoming Chief Government Whip.
2018 General ElectionEdit
Following an emotional exit from the public service, where he is said to have had a conflict with his manager over the serving of water and the delivery of documents to important clients, Buck was encouraged by his good friend Zachary Robichaud to join him in running for MP under the banner of the newly formed TOGA Party.
Led by the Hon. Andrew Potter, TOGA was committed to reinstating Roman-Canadian values and seeing Canada return to the glorious days of Caesar. Early on in the 18th general election, they were head-to-head with the Hon. Alec Connor's CAVE Party of Canada, who were vying to bring the country back to the stone-age. Buck knew at which point in history he would rather see his beloved country and was soon named the TOGA nominee for the riding of Elmwood--Transcona, in Winnipeg. Although originally from Ottawa, Buck had strong connections to Manitoba after volunteering for many years with the "Manitoba Does Exist" awareness campaign.
TOGA's pivotal moment came when Potter suddenly resigned as leader. With the party in turmoil and many predicting a swift victory for CAVE, Buck took initiative as a leading voice on Twitter, defending TOGA's ideals and rallying support from a growing base. Once former Deputy Leader the Hon. Christina Rideout took the reigns as Leader, Buck's efforts came to the attention of the TOGA leadership team, which now also included Robichaud as Deputy House Leader. In the following weeks, Buck was named Deputy Whip and began working closely with TOGA leadership to bring the party back.
The campaign was known for its frequent Twitter spats and growing anticipation as CAVE began consuming smaller parties in its wake, ending with a merger with the National Bird Front to form the DODO Party. On election night, Buck won the Elmwood--Transcona seat by a large margin, and after a nail-biting race, TOGA won a hairline minority government, beating DODO by only two seats.
18th Model Parliament of Canada (MPSP19)Edit
Buck played an important role in unifying his caucus and preparing to form Her Majesty's Government on sitting days. TOGA was known for hosting many social events that brought the party together and inspired confidence in their leadership. He assisted Robichaud, the Hon. Spencer Brickles, House Leader, and the Hon. Matt Tuckey, Deputy Leader in preparing legislation that would be introduced in the House as Bill C-2, the CAESAR Act. As sitting days approached, it was decided that Buck would become Chief Whip, allowing him to coordinate the party's internal relations from the front benches. On January 19, 2019, Buck was sworn-in to the Queen's Privy Council for Canada as Chief Government Whip.
The first sitting day was tumultuous, with C-2 hotly debated on all sides. Buck began negotiating with the whips of smaller parties to see if TOGA could garner support when the question was to be put at the end of the day. Come voting time, the Party People of Canada (PPC) sided with the Official Opposition, and the defeat of C-2 spelled the end of the TOGA government.
Buck stayed on as Chief Opposition Whip at the beginning of the second sitting day. He stood up for Roman-Canadians and his province of Manitoba during morning Question Period. When the House shifted its confidence to yet another government, TOGA disbanded, with Brickles becoming Prime Minister under the new Biscuit banner. Buck, Robichaud, and Tuckey refused to forego their allegiances and sat resolutely as the TOGA Remnant for the duration of the 18th Parliament.
Following sitting days, the National Roast and La Graisse named Buck "Rookie of the Year" in recognition of his efforts as an otherwise woefully underqualified whip.
19th Model Parliament of Canada (MPSP20)Edit
With the next general election set to begin, Buck considered defending his seat as MP but was beckoned once more by the alluring sirens of the public service. He announced that he would not seek re-election. Instead, in October 2019, the Rt. Hon. Ryan Musgrove, Governor General of Canada, named him to the MPSP Committee, where he would succeed the Hon. Dan Hux as Clerk of the House of Commons.
As Clerk, Buck would serve as chief advisor to the newly-named Speaker of the House, the Rt. Hon. Alec Connor. (The bitterness from their days as TOGA-DODO rivals was soon assuaged over a pitcher of Creemore.) Their team was completed by the Rt. Hon. Rebecca Jones, Deputy Speaker, and the Hon. Billy Strathdee, Deputy Clerk.
Buck believed strongly in bringing the intricacies of parliamentary procedure and practice to the forefront of MPSP, all while balancing them with the excitement of political maneuvering and the reward of new friendships. He was known for his "S/O to the SOs" series on Twitter, which showcased the Standing Orders; for his promotion of bilingualism at official events; and for refining sitting-day procedure to include, for example, the Dean's role in the naming of the Speakers, Opposition Motions, and a proper Emergency Debate.
Buck was named Companion of the Order of Canada (CC) for his distinguished service on the MPSP Committee, as well as Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in recognition of extraordinary commitment to the event. He is quick to point out that he could not have done it without the dedication of his closest colleagues -- Connor, Jones, Strathdee, and Musgrove.