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CPA Activities: The Canadian SceneCPA Activities: The Canadian Scene

Ottawa-Quebec Parliamentary Exchange

From February 27 to March 2, 1984 three Senators and three members of the House of Commons visited Quebec as guests of Speaker Richard Guay. The purpose of the exchange was to offer some insights into Quebec's cultural, industrial and parliamentary life. Among other things the federal members had meetings and briefings with the Deputy Ministers of Culture and the Treasury Board. They visited Place des Arts, Place Royale, the old port of Quebec and Andrés wine makers. The mayors of both Montreal and Quebec City gave the parliamentarians a reception in their honour.

Federal members who took part in the visit were Senators Yvette Rousseau, L. Norbert Thériault and Heath Macquarrie along with the Speaker of the House of Commons, Lloyd Francis, Bud Cullen MP for Sarnia and Maurice Harquail MP for Restigouche.

Canadian Regional Council Meeting

The Council of the Canadian Region of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association held its annual meeting in Ottawa on May 5, 1984. Visiting Speakers and observers were welcomed by the Speaker of the House of Commons, Lloyd Francis, and the Deputy Speaker of the Senate Gildas Molgat. The opening part of the meeting was chaired by the outgoing President of the Association, James Walding, Speaker of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly. Following a formula adopted in 1983 the President is drawn from the province that will host the next Canadian Regional Conference. Accordingly Speaker Arthur Donahoe of Nova Scotia took the chair for the remainder of the meeting. Other changes to the executive saw Quebec Speaker Richard Guay move from Second to First Vice-President and the addition of Speaker John Turner of Ontario as Second Vice-President. Other positions on the executive remain the same although an additional Regional Representative was added as result of changes to the CPA international constitution. Speaker Donahoe was named to fill this position. The Regional Representative whose term expires in a few months, Speaker Gerard Amerongen of Alberta, will be replaced by Speaker Guay after the international meeting in the Isle of Man.

The agenda for the Regional Council meeting consisted of some 19 items, a few of which were the subject of considerable discussion. In his report of the Executive Committee Speaker Walding noted the establishment of a $70,000 programme enrichment fund to be used to organize small CPA seminars in addition to the regular annual conference and seminar. Later in the meeting two specific proposals were considered, one from the Niagara Institute, the other from the Centre for Legislative Exchange.

The Council adopted a motion that only the interest and not the capital from the Programme Enrichment Fund should be used to organize activities. Neither of the specific proposals was adopted by the Council. Instead it was fell that at the next Council meeting branches wishing to draw from the fund should circulate proposals, well before the meeting, and the Council would decide which. if any, merited acceptance. In the meantime, to get the ball rolling, Keith Penner offered to raise the matter with the Chairman of the federal branch to see if some activity could be arranged in the coming year.

Other items on the agenda included a report by Mr. Penner on the report of a working party on CPA and its future; Deputy Speaker Doug Moore of New Brunswick reported on plans for the Atlantic Parliamentary Conference to be held in June 1984 in New Brunswick. Speaker Walter Davidson of British Columbia invited fellow Speakers to hold their Second Conference of Presiding Officers in British Columbia later this year. Speaker Turner said he thought Ontario would be willing to take Ottawa's place as host of the 1984 seminar in view of the increasing possibility of a federal election this fall. Finally, Speaker Amerongen reported on the preliminary results of a questionnaire he had circulated to all members of the Canadian region of CPA asking for their opinions on the operation of the Association. A final report will be circulated during the coming year

Twenty-Fourth Regional Conference

The twenty-fourth Regional Conference of CPA will be held in Nova Scotia from July 29-August 4, 1984. The conference will begin in Halifax but some of the sessions will take place at the Keltic Lodge in Cape Breton.

The topics on the agenda include: Censorship versus Free Speech: the Impact of the Charter; the Case For and Against Balanced Budgets; Party Discipline and the Possibilities for more Free Voting in a Parliamentary System; the Role of Provinces in International Affairs; and the Protection of the Rights of Visible Minorities. One session will also be devoted to CPA matters including the report of the working party on the future of CPA.

New Governor General

On May 14, 1984 Jeanne Sauvé was sworn in as Canada's 23rd Governor General replacing Edward Schreyer whose term had expired. The appointment marked the culmination of a distinguished public career which began in 1972 when she was elected to represent Laval-Des-Rapides in the House of Commons. Shortly thereafter she became the first female cabinet minister from Quebec and in 1980 the first woman to be elected Speaker of the House of Commons.

Born in Prud'homme, Saskatchewan where her father had a contract to build a Roman Catholic Church, her early education was at a private girls school in Ottawa. Mme. Sauvé studied economics at the University of Montreal and arts at the University of Paris. Following her return to Canada she worked as a freelance broadcaster for the French and English networks of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as well as other networks becoming one of the best known television commentators in Quebec.

Prior to serving as Speaker she had held three different ministerial portfolios: Minister of State for Science and Technology, Minister of the Environment and Minister of Communications.

New Lieutenant Governor

In Quebec City Gilles Lamontagne was sworn in as the province's 24th Lieutenant Governor since 1867 on March 28. A graduate of Jean-de-Brébeuf College and the École des hautes études commerciales, Mr. Lamontagne was a pilot with the 425 Bomber Squadron (Les Alouettes) during the Second World War. His aircraft was shot down in 1943 and he spent two years as a prisoner of war.

In 1946 Mr. Lamontagne settled in Quebec City where he went into business. He was elected to city council in 1962 and became mayor in 1965, a position he held for the next twelve years.

First elected to the House of Commons in a 1977 by-election, Mr. Lamontagne was re-elected in 1979 and 1980. During his years in Parliament he served as Postmaster General and later Minister of National Defence.


Craig H. James was appointed Clerk Assistant of the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly in March. A native of Saskatchewan, he studied at the University of Regina and received a Master of Library Science from the University of Wales. Mr James had served in the Saskatchewan Legislative Library for six years as government documents librarian and reference librarian prior to joining the Table. He was greeted by the Members as a librarian extraordinaire. In addition to Table duties, he will be Clerk to various committees including the Public Accounts Committee. Mr. James replaces David Mitchell who accepted a position with the private sector in British Columbia. On behalf of the Members of the Assembly Speaker Herb Swan presented Mr. Mitchell with a painting by a Saskatchewan artist as a token of appreciation for his contribution to the Assembly for the past three years.

Canadian Parliamentary Review Cover
Vol 7 no 2

Last Updated: 2020-03-03