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CPA Activities: The Canadian SceneCPA Activities: The Canadian Scene

Meeting of the Canadian Presiding Officers

The Annual Meeting of the Canadian Presiding Officers for 1992 took place in the cradle of Confederation, Charlottetown, P.E.I. on January 18. Four new Speakers were present and were welcomed by their colleagues: Shirley Dysart, Speaker designate of New Brunswick; Herman Rolfes, Speaker of Saskatchewan; Joan Sawicki, Speaker designate of British Columbia and Michael Ballantyne, Speaker of the Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly.

Other Speakers to attend the meeting were Tom Lush (Newfoundland and Labrador), Ronald Russell (Nova Scotia), David Warner (Ontario), Denis Rocan (Manitoba), David Carter (Alberta), Sam Johnston (Yukon) and the host for the meetings Speaker Edward Clark of the Prince Edward Island Legislative Assembly. The House of Commons was represented by Assistant Deputy Chairman of Committees of the Whole, Charles DeBlois, M.P. and Quebec by Deputy President Roger Lefèbvre.

Deputy Speakers attended from New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Prince Edward Island. Clerks attended from both the Senate and House of Commons in Ottawa, from Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Prince Edward Island. Special guests were Girve Fretz, M.P., Canadian Regional Representative (Federal) for CPA and Ian Imrie, Secretary of the Canadian CPA Regional Secretariat in Ottawa.

Most participants were able to arrive early enough to attend the welcoming reception at the Charlottetown City Hall, hosted by His Worship Mayor John E. Ready who spoke about the important role played by Charlottetown in the days leading up to the creation of the Canadian Confederation. The delegates also received a tour of the historic Legislative Building and the distinctive Legislature, as well as the Legislative Council Room where the meeting of the Fathers of Confederation took place.

The working session on Saturday, January 18, commenced with presentation by Ian Izard, Law Clerk, British Columbia, on "Powers of the Chair in a Parliamentary Democracy". This was followed by the "Role of the Presiding Officer in Improving the Public Perception of Legislatures and Legislators", introduced by W.H. Remnant, Clerk of the Manitoba Legislature and "Rules of Debate, Including Repetition and Relevance, on Parliamentary Language, Time Allocation, Closure and the Sub Judice Rule/Convention", introduced by David Peterson, the Clerk of the New Brunswick Legislature.

Saturday afternoon was taken up with "Recognition of Parties: A Case Study" presented by Patrick Michael, Clerk of the Yukon Legislature, "Process of Reform", introduced by Camille Montpetit, Principal Clerk, House Proceedings, House of Commons, Ottawa. The afternoon's agenda concluded with a discussion of a number of topics relevant to CPA, beginning with "CPA: the Green Paper and the Harare Declaration; Towards a Canadian Region Position", introduced by Claude DesRosiers, Clerk of the Ontario Legislature. In brief, Mr. DesRosiers' paper called for a re-dedication by the Canadian Branches of the essential purpose of CPA, to provide more and better opportunities for legislators to get together for meaningful discussions and exchanges of opinion, on a Canadian level as well as at the international Commonwealth level. This will be the subject of a working party meeting to take place in Kuala Lumpur in March of this year and to be discussed further at the CPA International Executive meeting in April and at the 1992 CPA Plenary Conference in October.

On Saturday night, Presiding Officers were the guests at a reception and dinner at Government House given by the Lieutenant-Governor of P.E.I., Marion Reid, herself a former Speaker of the Legislature. The same evening the Clerk of the P.E.I. Legislature, Douglas Boylan, was host to the visiting Clerks and officials at the historic Great George Inn.

Thirty-Second Regional Conference

The Newfoundland and Labrador Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association will be hosting the annual Regional Conference to be held in St. John's from July 26 to 31, 1992. The business sessions will be held from July 27-30 inclusive. All Branches are urged to submit possible topics for discussion and debate.

New Clerk of the Newfoundland House of Assembly

In November 1991, A. John Noel was appointed Clerk of the House of Assembly. Educated at Memorial, Carleton and Dalhousie Universities, he was admitted to the Newfoundland Bar in 1974. He was subsequently solicitor with the Department of Justice until 1977, Legislative Counsel from 1977-1979, and Senior Legislative Counsel and Law Clerk from 1979-1991. He was also Assistant Deputy Minister in the Department of Justice in 1983. He continues to perform duties of Law Clerk and is also a member of the Association of Parliamentary Counsel in Canada.

Canadian Parliamentary Review Cover
Vol 15 no 1

Last Updated: 2020-09-14