Eighth Canadian Regional Seminar
The 8th Canadian Regional Seminar on
Parliamentary Procedure and Practice was held in Ottawa from October 31 November
4, 1982. The seminar brought together some fifty delegates and observers from
the House of Commons and the provincial assemblies. The seminar was also
attended by two members of the British House of Commons, Peter Fry and Douglas
Hoyle, along with Clifford Boulton, Principal Clerk of the Table Office and by
two members from Trinidad and Tobago, Basdeo Panday and Shamshuddin Mohammed.
The seminar was opened by Jean Marchand,
Speaker of the Senate. Following the opening ceremony an Oxford Union type debate
was held on a resolution that "Parliamentary and Legislative Institutions
in Canada no longer perform the Functions for Which They were Created."
Defending the resolution were Senator Duff Roblin and Gerald Baldwin former
House Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party. Opposed to it were Roy
Romanow, former Attorney General of Saskatchewan and Dr. Victor Goldbloom, a
former Minister in the Quebec National Assembly. Presiding over the debate was
David Collenette, MP for York East and Chairman of the Seminar. Mr. Collenette
said the format was an attempt to return some of the thrust and parry of
parliamentary debate which many people claim has been lost over the years.
After a spirited and entertaining debate the House divided on the question. The
resolution was defeated.
The second sessions dealt with "The
Role of the Opposition" with David Payne, MNA from Quebec acting as lead
off speaker. Murry Eiston, MPP in Ontario led off the discussion on
"Members Access to Information." "Financial Control Over The
Executive" was led by James Walding, MLA, Manitoba. "The Positive
Role For Backbenchers was opened by George Moody, MLA, Nova Scotia. Waiter
Davidson, MLA, British Columbia led off a discussion of whether the voice of
the provinces is adequately represented in Ottawa by present institutions.
As is usually the case much useful
information was also exchanged during various dinners hosted by the Speaker of
the House of Commons, Jeanne Sauv6, the Speaker of the Senate, Jean Marchand,
the Chairman of the federal branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary
Association, Keith Penner and by Mr. Collenette. Many delegates, particularly
those with little legislative experience found the meetings most useful.
Virtually everyone thought the Oxford Union type debate was a fine way to
launch the seminar. The Deputy Speaker of the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly
Lloyd Muller announced that the 9th seminar will be held next year in Regina.
New Canadian Regional Representative
Canada has a new representative on the International
Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. The
Committee, composed of eighteen members, is responsible for the management of
the activities and business of the Association. The Canadian Region is entitled
to two representatives, one representing the federal branch and one
representing the ten provincial and two territorial branches.
At the 28th CPA Conference in the Bahamas,
Keith Penner was elected to succeed Dr. Maurice Foster as federal member on the
New Speaker in British Columbia
0n September 13 Walter Davidson was elected
Speaker of the British Columbia Legislative Assembly. A graduate of the
University of British Columbia, Mr. Davidson worked as Executive Assistant to
the Member of Parliament for Burnaby-Richmond from 1972-1975. He was elected to
the British Columbia legislature in 1975 and re-elected in 1979. Mr. Davidson
had served as Deputy Speaker since February 1980. He replaces Harvey Schroeder
who was named to the Cabinet.
Thomas Russell Montgomery
An honourary member of the Commonwealth
Parliamentary Association passed away at age 90 on October 17, 1982. Thomas
Russell Montgomery entered the Public Service at age 19 in 1912 and three years
later joined the staff of the House of Commons. He worked his way up through
the ranks becoming Clerk Assistant in 1952, a position he held until his
retirement in 1965. He was for many years Secretary of the Canadian Branch of
the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and helped to organize numerous conferences
and exchanges. He was made an honorary life member of the Canadian Region in