From May 25 to June 3, 1990 the
Canadian Region hosted the 2nd Commonwealth Parliamentary Seminar. Participants
included parliamentarians from ten Commonwealth legislatures as well as
federal, provincial and territorial legislators. The Chairman of the seminar
was Speaker, David Carter, of Alberta, president of the Canadian Region.
The first session was chaired by Girve
Fretz, MP, chairman of the Canadian Branch of CPA. The topic was
"Canada as a Federation: the Federal Scene". Professor J.R.
Mallory of McGill University, Gordon Robertson, and Michel Robert
discussed the Meech Lake Accord and federal-provincial relations in genera.
The next two sessions dealt with
procedural developments in Canada and the provinces. Philip Laundy,
Clerk Assistant of the House of Commons delivered a paper on the Speakership,
and other panellists for these sessions included Roger Sands, Clerk of the
Overseas Office in the British Parliament, Lawrence Cannon, of the
Quebec National Assembly, Senator Gerald Ottenheimer, and Ontario MLA Robert
Three distinguished former
parliamentarians led discussion of "A Parliamentarian's Dilemma: the Party,
the Electorate and Personal Convictions". They included Keith Penner,
Paul McCrossan and Ian Deans. A discussion of the Committee
System was chaired by John Bosley, MP and included Felix Holtmann,
MP, Ted Chapman, of South Australia and David Lambie of the
Another UK parliamentarian, Bill
Walker, chaired the session on "Parliament and the Executive".
The panelists were two former Canadian parliamentarians John Reid and
David Daubney and in addition Joseph Toney, MP of Trinidad and Tobago.
"Parliament and the Media" was chaired by Geoff Scott, MP and
consisted of several members of the press gallery: Marjorie Nichols of
the Ottawa Citizen, Judy Morrison of CBC radio, Michel Gratton of
the Toronto Sun and Vadim Fotinov of Soviet TV-Radio
Nelson Riis, MP chaired a session on "Educating
the Public About Parliament" which consisted of representatives of the
House and Senate information services, Robert Desramaux and Gordon
Lovelace as well as John Warren of the Parliamentary Television Service.
The seminar concluded with an
Oxford Union-style Debate which resolved that there was Room for a Second
Chamber in Commonwealth Parliaments. On the winning side were Senator Gerald
Beaudoin and Sidney R. Stallard of Bermuda. Their opponents were David
Lambie, and Myron Kowalsky, MLA of Saskatchewan. The Chairman of the
debate was Edward Clark, MLA, Speaker of the Prince Edward Island
Regional Conference in New
From Wednesday August 22 to Monday
August 27, 1990, the 30th Canadian Regional Conference will be held in New
Brunswick. Among the topics on the agenda are: Canadian Sovereignty and the
Impact of Free Trade; Combating Illiteracy in our Educational System; Problems
Inherent in Achieving a Practicable Native Self-Government; The State of the
Fishing Industry in Canada; Effective Environmental Management of Solid, Toxic
and Nuclear Waste; Pollsters/Media Interpretation of Polls in Influencing
Public Opinion; The Independent Role of the Private Member Within Traditional Party
Discipline; The Future of Canada's Health Care System; Canadian Identity - A
Multicultural Canada versus a Common Canadian Culture; Recognition and Respect:
the Transitional Role of Women in Public Life; Teen Suicides: What are the
Reasons for This Disturbing Dilemma?; and The Powers of the Senate: Theory and
The program will also include an
opportunity to visit Kings Landing Historical Settlement and a traditional
On June 2,1990 the Canadian Regional
Council held its annual meeting. Speaker Frank Branch, New Brunswick was
chosen to succeed Speaker David Carter of Alberta as chairman of the
Canadian Region for the coming year. Speaker Carter presented a report on the
activities for 1989-90 as did Regional Representatives, Senator William
Doody and Speaker Hugh Edighoffer of Ontario. The Secretary General
of CPA reported on relations between the Commonwealth Secretariat and the CPA
Secretariat and the need to impress upon Commonwealth First Ministers the
important role played by the Association in promoting democratic institutions
throughout the Commonwealth.
Canada agreed to host the 1994
International CPA Conference with the expenses to be shared between Parliament
and the provincial and territorial legislatures.
The Deputy Speaker of the Northwest
Territories, Sam Gargan, reported on the 14th Canadian Parliamentary
Seminar held last November. He also suggested that the presiding officers
conference scheduled in Yellowknife for 1991 be moved to 1994 when the new
Parliament Buildings will be completed. Speaker Arthur Donahoe offered
Nova Scotia as the site for 1991.
Speaker Donahoe also brought to the
attention of the Council a recent decision of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia
which ordered the Assembly to admit television cameras. He pointed out that the
implications of the decision went far beyond television and involved the whole
question of parliamentary privilege and whether it is subject to review by the
The Council also approved a proposal
by the Centre for Legislative Exchange for a seminar on education issues to be
held in Washington in the fall of 1990.