Canadian Parliamentary Review

Current Issue
Canadian Region CPA
Upcoming Issue
Editorial and Stylistic Guidelines

HomeContact UsFrançais

CPA Activities: The Canadian SceneCPA Activities: The Canadian Scene

New Speakers

On March 22, 1994 Emery Barnes became the first Speaker in British Columbia's history to be elected by secret ballot of the Members. One ballot was required for Mr. Barnes to receive a plurality of votes cast. He replaces Joan Sawicki who resigned.

Mr. Barnes represents the constituency of Vancouver-Burrard, and was first elected to the Legislative Assembly in 1972. Victorious in six consecutive elections, he is the Member with the longest continuous service in the House. Prior to his election to the Chair, he served on the Opposition benches as the New Democratic Party's critic for multiculturalism, race relations and youth. Following the 1991 general election, he was elected Deputy Speaker of the Assembly.

Born in New Orleans in 1929 and educated at the University of Oregon and the University of British Columbia, Mr. Barnes earned a Bachelor of Science degree and a Bachelor of Social Work. Before attaining public office, he was a social worker. He also played professional football with both the Green Bay Packers and the BC Lions. He is an inductee in the Sports Hall of Fame in British Columbia and Oregon. He is a founding member of the Black Historical and Cultural Society of British Columbia, and was active in Big Brothers.

He is married to Janet, and has four children and three grandchildren.

On April 18, 1994, John Devries was elected Speaker of the Yukon Legislative Assembly replacing Alan Nordling. Mr. Devries was born in the Netherlands and immigrated to Canada with his parents in 1947. He was educated in Ontario and has worked in a wide range of trades as well as being an active community volunteer.

Mr. Devries was first elected to the Yukon Legislature in 1989 and re-elected in 1992. He was Minister of Economic Development, Mines, Small Business and Minister of Government Services until his election to the Speakership.

New Chairman of Federal Branch

On March 24, 1994 Bob Speller was elected Chairman of the Canadian Branch of CPA defeating one other candidate. Mr. Speller was born in Hagersville, Ontario. He studied at York University where he received an MA in Political Science and International Relations. He was an Ontario Legislative Intern in 1982.

He was elected to the House of Commons for the Liberal party in 1988 and re-elected in 1993. He represents Haldimand-Norfolk and is currently Chairman of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food. He replaces Senator C. William Doody as Chairman of the Canadian Branch of CPA. Senator Doody becomes one of the Canadian Regional Representatives for CPA.

CPA Conference in Canada

In April 1994 the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association approved the topics for the conference to be held in Canada from October 4-14, 1994. The theme of the conference is Parliament and People (making democratic institutions more representative, responsible and relevant). The topics are as follows:

What contribution can parliamentarians make to the development of the United Nations, the Commonwealth and regional organizations and the prevention and resolution of international disputes?

What practical steps can be taken to enhance relations between Commonwealth countries with regard to trade, debt repayment and deficit reduction problems and resist the tendency towards a widening of the inequality between developed and developing countries, and how can parliamentarians assist these efforts?

How can Commonwealth parliaments develop practical and innovative processes to achieve full equality for women?

How can parliamentarians contribute to the understanding of environmental protection problems and the need for effective legislation to deal with them?

How can parliamentarians help in achieving a better understanding of the worldwide problems of unemployment, drug abuse and aids and encourage the acceptance of ideas for combating them in society?

What steps can be taken to enhance the public perception of parliaments and the legislative process?

This will be the fifth time since 1948 that Canada has hosted the conference. Some 500 parliamentarians from around the world are expected to attend.

New Clerk of the Senate

Paul C. Bélisle was appointed as the Senate's eleventh Clerk since Confederation on March 15, 1994. A graduate of the University of Ottawa, Mr. Bélisle holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honours in Political Science, a certificate in Public Administration and a Law Degree. He served as a Procedural Clerk with Senate Committees for five years and was appointed Assistant (later Associate) Director of Committees in 1984. He also served as a Table Officer for several years. Mr. Bélisle is married to Danielle Parent-Bélisle, who is also a law graduate and a Procedural Clerk at the House of Commons. They have two daughters, Ariane and Alexia.

Deputy Clerk of British Columbia

Robert Vaive is the new Deputy Clerk of the British Columbia Legislative Assembly. He served for 15 years with the House of Commons as a Committee Clerk and Deputy Principal Clerk with the committees directorate. For the last four years he has been Deputy Clerk of the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly.

Canadian Parliamentary Review Cover
Vol 17 no 2

Last Updated: 2020-03-03