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CPA Activities: The Canadian SceneCPA Activities: The Canadian Scene

Canadian Regional Council Meeting

The Canadian Regional Council of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association held its annual meeting in Ottawa on May 8, 1982. The program for the Twenty-second Regional Conference was outlined by Don Stewart, Speaker of the Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly, who will be host of the conference. The Council approved an agenda which will deal with such topics as "Constitutional and Political Development in the Territories", "The Importance of Mega-projects for Economic Development Across Canada", and "The Social and Local Impacts of Major Resource Development Projects".

In other matters the Council agreed to help to defray some of the expenses of Gerald Ottenheimer of Newfoundland during his term as chairman of CPA's international Executive Committee. The Council felt Mr. Ottenheimer will be representing not only CPA but Canada as a whole and that he should be able to rely on the Canadian Region for any expenses not covered by CPA international.

On a motion by Quebec, the Council agreed to establish a task force to study the growing number of organizations devoted to promoting exchanges among legislators and which are asking for financial assistance to carry out their programs. The committee will report as to whether there is duplication of effort between these organizations and the Canadian Region of CPA and what, if any, should be the relationship between CPA and these extra-parliamentary organizations. The task force will consist of Speakers Claude Vaillancourt (Quebec), John Turner (Ontario), Harvey Schroeder (British Columbia), Arthur Donahoe (Nova Scotia) and Mr. Keith Penner (Ottawa), Chairman of the Canadian Branch of CPA. They are to report their findings at the next Regional Council meeting.

The Council confirmed that the eighth Canadian Regional Seminar would be held in Ottawa from October 31 to November 4, 1982. The Twenty-third Regional Conference will be held in Manitoba from August 8 to 11, 1983.

Zimbabwean at the Table in Saskatchewan

Under the auspices of the Saskatchewan Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Mr. Austin Zvoma, Assistant Secretary to the Parliament of Zimbabwe, is spending a three-month attachment with the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan.

Zimbabwe, formerly Rhodesia, became an independent black-ruled country two years ago. The country's new parliament has been sending newly-hired staff outside of Zimbabwe on training programs. While in Saskatchewan Mr. Zvoma will observe the entire operation of the provincial legislature through the office of the Clerk of the House. He has also visited the Legislative Assembly of Alberta and plans to spend a week in Ottawa before returning home to Zimbabwe.

New Speaker in Manitoba

The new Speaker of the Manitoba legislature is James Walding. An optician by profession, Mr. Walding came to Winnipeg from England in 1961. A former Commissioner of both the Manitoba Telephone System and the Manitoba Centennial Corporation, he first rant for office in the 1969 provincial election and was defeated by the narrow margin of 23 votes. In 1971 he won a by-election in St. Vital and has represented that riding ever since. Mr. Speaker Walding is a former Deputy Chairman of Committees. He was Chairman of the New Democratic Party Caucus from 1974-1982. During his tenure in the legislature he has also chaired the following committees: Municipal Affairs, Privileges and Elections, Public Utilities, Public Accounts, Private Bills, and Statutory Regulations and Orders. Mr. Walding was sworn in as Speaker on February 25, 1982.


Marian J. Powell has been appointed as the new Legislative Librarian for the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan. Mrs. Powell succeeds Christine MacDonald who retired April 30, 1982, after 36 years of service. Mrs. Powell was born in Saskatchewan and received her B.A. with Distinction from the University of Saskatchewan, Regina. She then graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Library Science degree. Since 1970, Mrs. Powell had been employed with the University of Regina's library. As Legislative Librarian her mandate will include implementation of the recommendations of the recent Report of the Special Committee on the Review of the Legislative Library.

Also in Saskatchewan Elizabeth Bourns has been appointed Clerk Assistant (Administrative). Ms. Bourns, who was born in Hamilton, Ontario, holds a B.A. (Honours) from McMaster University and an M.P.A. from Queen's. She had worked for the provincial government of Alberta before coming to Saskatchewan where she served with the Department of Intergovernmental Affairs. Her new responsibilities as Clerk Assistant (Administrative) include advising the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly on personnel, financial and administrative matters. She will administer Members' services for the Saskatchewan legislature and also serve as secretary to the Board of Internal Economy.

The new Sergeant-at-arms in Manitoba is Mr. Ernest Diack. A retired police man. Mr. Diack. was active in the Canadian Legion. He replaced Edward Laing at the beginning of the present session of the legislature.

On March 1. a new Assistant Clerk was appointed to the Ontario Legislative Assembly. Mr. Simirle Forsyth. a barrister and solicitor, was formerly a Clerk of Committees, a position he held since July. 1978, He served as Clerk of the Standing Committees on Administration of Justice. Regulations and Other Statutory Instruments and on Procedural Affairs and as Clerk of the Select Committee on Constitutional Reform.

Canadian Parliamentary Review Cover
Vol 5 no 2

Last Updated: 2020-09-14