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
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
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.