Making the Case in Washington
In 1983 the Canadian Region of the
Commonwealth Parliamentary Association established a program enrichment fund to
sponsor special projects which foster the aims and objectives of the association.
The following year the Executive approved a federal proposal for a seminar
entitled "Making the Case in Washington." The seminar was held from
September 17-19, 1985. Seventeen MLAs representing Alberta, British Columbia,
Manitoba, Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island and
the Northwest Territories attended.
The first guest speaker was Walter Kravitz
author of many books and articles on the American Congress. He gave an overview
of the differences between the parliamentary and congressional systems pointing
out different assumptions upon which each is based and the way similar words
such as "political party" or "government" have different
meaning in each system. He emphasized the degree to which power is shared in
the United States and the difficulties this poses for anyone trying to
influence policy in that country.
The next speaker, Matthew Abrams, president
of CANAMCO described what lobbying means, what forms it takes and who are some
of the most influential persons in the American political process.
A former Canadian Desk Officer with the
Department of State, Ed Nef, spoke about different forms of lobbying and the
importance of the private sector in lobbying for Canadian interests. He noted
how difficult it was to measure the effectiveness of lobbying.
The next morning was spent at the Canadian
Embassy where delegates heard from counsellors James Judd, John Fieldhouse,
Pierre Gosselin, and Bruce Jutzi about a variety of Canadian-American issues
including how the Embassy approaches Congress, the Public Relations program of
the Embassy, and various bilateral issues including trade an acid rain. An
overview of the current state of Canadian-American relations was provided by
Jacques Roy, Deputy Head of Mission.
In the afternoon delegates visited Congress
where they heard three Representatives, Les Aucoin (Democrat-Oregon), George
O'Brien (Republican-Illinois) and John McKernan Jr. (Republican-Maine) and one
former Representative James O'Hara. They described the high protectionist
sentiments in Congress and pointed out some of the underlying political and
electoral reasons. Another former Representative, Edward J. Derwinski, who is
presently a counsellor in the Department of State described the relationship
between the State Department and Congress as far as Canadian issues are
The final day of the seminar began with a
meeting with Robert Herzstein an attorney who argued the Canadian side in the
softwood lumber case. The case illustrated many points made by previous speakers
about the complexity of the decision-making process in the United States.
The last item on the program was a briefing
from the Canadian Ambassador in Washington, Allan Gotlieb. His presentation
left members with a clearer appreciation of the difficult task faced by those
charged with representing Canadian interests be they federal, provincial or
Perhaps the major lesson to be drawn from
the seminar is that Canadians are unlikely to win an argument with the United
States unless we can convince them that our policies are in their own best
Arrangements for the seminar were made by
the Centre for Legislative Exchange in Ottawa. Both the Director of the Centre
Barbara Reynolds and the Washington Representative Jo Oberstar did everything in
their power to make it a most enlightening experience for all who attended.
The new Secretary-General of CPA
The Hon. David Tonkin, former Premier of
South Australia, has been chosen to succeed Sir Robin Vanderfelt, as
Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. Sir Robin
retires next year after serving as Secretary-General since 1961.
Dr. Tonkin was the unanimous choice of a
Selection Board which interviewed candidates from throughout the Commonwealth.
The nomination of Dr. Tonkin has been endorsed by the full Executive Committee
and by the General Assembly at its meeting in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in
Dr. Tonkin served as Premier of South
Australia from 1979 to 1982, and was a member of the South Australia House of
Assembly from 1970 to 1983. He is a practising Ophthalmologist and Consultant
in Health Management.
New Lieutenant Governor in Ontario
On September 20 Lincoln MacCauley Alexander,
Q.C., P.C., was sworn in as Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, succeeding John Black
Aird. Mr. Alexander was a Progressive Conservative M.P. for twelve years from
1968, and served as federal Minister of Labour in 1979. Since then, he had
served as Chairman of Ontario's Workers' Compensation Board. Known for his
friendly, informal ("call me Linc") bearing of the mantel of office,
Mr. Alexander was a popular choice to represent the Queen in Ontario.
A native of Toronto, Mr. Lincoln is 63 years
old. He served for three years with the RCAF during the war before attending
law school and entering practice in Hamilton.
New Clerk Assistant, NWT
Henry Zoe was appointed Clerk Assistant of
the Legislative Assembly of the NWT, effective September 30. Prior to his
appointment, Mr. Zoe had been Secretary Manager of the hamlet of Rae-Edzo, NWT
since 1980 and, before that, was the hamlet's Assistant Secretary Manager and
Clerk for four years. He recently received the award of the NWT Association of
Municipal Administrators as the outstanding municipal administrator in the NWT
for 1985. Mr. Zoe, 26, was educated in Rae-Edzo, NWT and La Loche, Prince
Albert and Saskatoon, Sask. In his new position, he replaces the previous Clerk
Assistant Albert Canadien who resigned earlier this summer.