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CPA Activities: The Canadian SceneCPA Activities: The Canadian Scene

Canadian Regional Council Meeting, June 5, 1993

The annual meeting of the Canadian Regional Council, the governing body of the Canadian Region of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association was held on June 5, 1993. The host of the meeting was the Speaker pro tempore of the Senate Gerald Ottenheimer, filling in for Speaker John Fraser of the House of Commons. Members of the Council wished Speaker Fraser a speedy recovery. Senator Ottenheimer opened the meeting by welcoming the three new Speakers elected since the last meeting. They include Alan Nordling (Yukon), Nancy Guptill (PEI) and Paul Dicks (Newfoundland). Other Speakers in attendance included David Carter (Alberta), Denis Rocan (Manitoba), Jean-Pierre Saintonge (Quebec), David Warner (Ontario), Ronald Russell (Nova Scotia), Michael Ballantyne (NWT), Herman Rolfes (Saskatchewan), Shirley Dysart (New Brunswick). Also present were Senator William Doody, Chairman of the Federal Branch, and Girve Fretz MP the Canadian Regional Representative. Speaker Dysart was elected to replace former Speaker Clark of Prince Edward Island as another Regional Representative.

Mr. Fretz and Speaker Rocan reported on CPA international activities during the past year. Next year the plenary meeting will be held in Canada and Senator Doody reported on arrangements to date for this meeting to be held from October 5-15, 1994 in Banff, Alberta

Senator Doody also reported on arrangements for the 33rd Conference of the Canadian Region to be held in Ottawa from August 8-14, 1993. The theme for the conference is Representative and Responsible Government Reconsidered. Each session of the conference will be devoted to a particular problem related to this general theme. Participants will be invited to reflect upon how our parliamentary form of government will have to evolve to remain representative and responsible as understood in the 21st century. The specific topics on the agenda include: The Changing Nature of Representation, the Lessons of October 26, Choosing the Leader, Parliamentary Scrutiny of Expenditures: A Comparative Perspective, Lobbying and the Registration of Lobbyists, Free Votes, Responsible Government and Legislative Reform.

In other business the council adopted a slightly modified budget sharing arrangement whereby Ottawa will pay one half of the operating budget for the Canadian Region with the reminder divided among the provinces and territories on the basis of the number of seats in each legislature. This formula was based on a recommendation by the executive committee. The Council also agreed to fund a proposal by the Centre for Legislative Exchange to hold a seminar for legislators on Education in Washington in October 1993.

New Speakers and Clerks

Following recent elections new Speakers have been elected in Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. In PEI the new Speaker is Nancy Guptill. She was born in Halifax where she obtained her elementary and high school education. In 1961 she graduated from the Victoria General Hospital - the School of Radiotherapy as a technologist and worked at the hospital for 2 years. In 1964 she moved to St. John's Newfoundland where she was employed in the Radiotherapy Department as technologist and instructor. In 1982 Nancy Guptill was elected to the Summerside Town Council and then re-elected in 1985. She was Chairperson of the recreation Committee. She also served as Chairperson of the Promotion, Planning and Development Committee; Member of the Summerside Area Regional Planning Board.

Mrs. Guptill was first elected as Liberal MLA for 5th Prince in September 1987 by-election. She served on standing committees for Public Accounts and Fisheries, Industry, Tourism and Labour. She was re-elected in the Provincial Election in May 1989, and was appointed to the cabinet as Minister of Tourism and Parks. On November 14, 1991, she was appointed as Minister of Labour and also Minister Responsible for Status of Women. She was re-elected in March 1993 Provincial Election and was appointed Speaker of the Legislative Assembly on April 15, 1993.

In Newfoundland the new Speaker is Paul Dicks. Mr. Dicks was born on April 13, 1950 and is a native of Corner Brook. He graduated from Regina High School, Corner Brook, in 1967. In 1973, Mr. Dicks graduated from Memorial University with BA(Hon) and BEd degrees with First Class standing in both Education and Arts. In that year, he also received the University Gold Medal in Philosophy and the Newfoundland Teacher's Association Medal for Outstanding Student in Education.

In 1973, Mr. Dicks was awarded a Sir James Dunn Scholarship at Dalhousie University Law School and graduated with an LLB in 1976. He was called to the Bar of Newfoundland on December 10, 1976, and practised law in Corner Brook from January, 1977, until April 20, 1989, when he was elected to represent the District of Humber West. Mr. Dicks was appointed Minister of Justice and Attorney General in May, 1989, and held that post until November, 1991. He was reelected in the General Election on May 3, 1993 and was elected Speaker of the House of Assembly on May 20, 1993.

Mr. Dicks was President of the Humber West District Association in 1978, Constitutional Chairman of the Liberal Party in 1981 and was elected President of the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1984.

The retirement of two of the longest serving Table Officers in provincial legislatures was announced recently. In Prince Edward Island Doug Boylan retired as Clerk of the Legislative Assembly on April 30, 1993 after 22 years at the Table. His replacement is R. Alan Rankin. Mr. Rankin has been employed with the Government of Prince Edward Island for a number of years and is a former Deputy Minister in the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs.

On March 18 in British Columbia a motion was moved by the Premier and seconded by the Leader ofthe Official Opposition to appoint the Deputy Clerk E. George MacMinn as Clerk of the Legislative Assembly effective September 1, 1993. He replaces Ian M. Horne, Clerk of the Assembly since 1973. Mr. Horne becomes Clerk Consultant.

Mr. MacMinn began his career at the Table as Clerk Assistant in 1957 with the British Columbia Legislature and became Deputy Clerk in 1973, a position he has held since that time. A Barrister and Solicitor, he was called to the Bar in 1954 having graduated from the University of British Columbia Law School in 1953. Mr. MacMinn was appointed Queen's Counsel on March 29, 1984.

He is the author of several publications including Parliamentary Practice in British Columbia which has become the primary reference source on procedural matters affecting British Columbia.

A member of the Association of Canadian Clerks-at-the-Table, Mr. MacMinn has held administrative positions within the Association including President. He has acted as the Secretary to various B.C. delegations to Commonwealth Parliamentary Association meetings, the National Conference of State Legislatures in the United States, participated in meetings of the American Society of Clerks and Secretaries, and held various seminars in B.C. relative to parliamentary practice and procedure. In 1985 he served an attachment to the House of Commons in the United Kingdom.

Canadian Parliamentary Review Cover
Vol 16 no 2

Last Updated: 2020-03-03