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CPA Activities: The Canadian SceneCPA Activities: The Canadian Scene

Eighth Meeting of Canadian Presiding Officers

The eighth annual meeting of Canadian Presiding Officers was held in Halifax, Nova Scotia from January 18-20, 1991.

The conference was chaired by Arthur Donahoe, Speaker of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly, who also hosted the social program as well.

Speakers and Deputy Speakers attended from all provinces and territories except for British Columbia and Yukon. The Senate was represented by Deputy Speaker Gildas Molgat. The House of Commons was in emergency session most of the weekend and was unable to be represented. Clerks attended from most jurisdictions and played an important role in opening the five agenda topics.

The following topics were discussed:

Order in Chaos: the Role of the Speaker in Periods of Obstruction and Filibuster(Opener: Gordon Barnhart, Clerk of the Senate);

How may a Question of Privilege be Brought Before the Assembly and What Criteria Guides the Chair in Ruling on whether such a question is in order?(Opener: Pierre Duchesne, Secretary-General, Quebec National Assembly);

The parliamentary calendar: How is it working in jurisdictions with one; can it work in a small legislature; does it help take some of the games-playing out of the timing and length of sessions?Opener: Claude DesRosiers, Clerk of the Ontario Legislature on behalf of Robert Marleau, Clerk of the House of Commons);

The Election of the Speaker: the Ontario Experience(Opener: ClaudeDesRosiers);

Caretaker or activist: the Role of the Speaker after an Election(Opener: David Peterson Clerk of the New Brunswick Legislative Assembly).

During the conference, Speaker Edward Clark of Prince Edward Island, presented an invitation for the 9th Meeting of Canadian Presiding Officers to be held in Charlottetown in 1992. Quebec is in line to host in 1993; Northwest Territories in 1994; and Saskatchewan in 1995.

Upcoming Events

The presiding officers will meet again in Ottawa on June 8-9 at the annual meeting of the Canadian Regional Council of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.

Other CPA meetings scheduled for this year include the annual Regional Conference to be hosted by British Columbia in August and the annual seminar to be hosted by the Yukon Legislative Assembly in November. At the international level the 37th CPA conference will be held in India this fall and the Third Commonwealth-wide Parliamentary Seminar will be held in the Isle of Man from June 8-16, 1991.

Canadian Parliamentary Review Cover
Vol 14 no 1

Last Updated: 2020-03-03