From July 27 - August 2, 1996, more
than 80 legislators and observers from the Senate, the House of Commons and
every provincial and territorial legislature except British Columbia gathered
in Winnipeg for the annual Regional Conference of the Commonwealth
Among the special guests were
members of the British House of Commons, Derek Conway and Allan
Rogers, Senator LeRoy Stumpf of Minnesota, Sir Colin Shepherd,
Chairman of the Executive Committee of CPA, Emily Saunders, a member of
the Legislative Council of the Turks and Caicos, Russell Grove, Clerk of
the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales, and Mahbub Alam, of the CPA
secretariat in London.
At the opening reception delegates
were welcomed to the Conference by the Premier of Manitoba, Gary Filmon,
and the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Louise Dacquay. They
arrived at the Legislature dressed in "Voyageur" costumes after a
trip by canoe along the Assiniboia River.
The Conference was formally opened
the following day by Speaker Dacquay and the Mayor of Winnipeg. The first
business session focused on the Future Role of the Commonwealth and featured
presentations by Krishnan Srinivasan, Deputy Secretary General of the
Commonwealth Secretariat, and Sir Colin Shepherd.
The second session dealt with
balanced budget legislation. It was chaired by Speaker Danny Gay of New
Brunswick and included presentations by Lillian Ross MPP of Ontario and John
Ottenheimer MHA of Newfoundland and Labrador.
The topic for the third session was
Public Perceptions of Elected Office Holders. The Chairman was Speaker Allan
McLean of Ontario. The panellists were Scott Edmonds of Canadian
Press, Professor Trevor Anderson of the University of Manitoba and
Speaker Stan Schumacher of Alberta.
Speaker Lloyd Snow of
Newfoundland and Labrador chaired the next session which dealt with government
sponsored gambling. Panellists were Maynard Sonntag MLA from
Saskatchewan and Rose Marie MacDonald MLA of Prince Edward Island.
The fifth session dealt with
proportional representation. It was chaired by Speaker Sam Gargan of the
Northwest Territories. The panellists were John Mackay MLA of New
Brunswick and Dennis Richards MLA, Nova Scotia.
Aboriginal Self Government was the
topic of the sixth session. Eric Robinson MLA of Manitoba was the Chair and
the speakers were Elijah Harper MP, James Downey, Deputy Premier
of Manitoba and Phil Fontaine, Grand Chief, Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs.
The seventh session, Chaired by
Speaker John Devries of Yukon, dealt with restructuring education. The
lead speaker was David Newman MLA of Manitoba. The last session, on
Technology and the Legislature, was Chaired by Speaker Glenn Hagel from
Saskatchewan and featured a presentation by Don Boudria MP.
In addition to the business
sessions delegates and observers were treated to numerous examples of
"friendly Manitoba" hospitality including a tour of the St. Boniface
Museum and Fort Gibralter as well as evening functions celebrating Manitoba’s
entertainers, its ethnic diversity, and its Western heritage. At the conclusion
many delegates congratulated Speaker Dacquay and her staff on the fine
organization of both the business and leisure events.
Canadian Regional Council
Immediately preceding the
Conference a meeting of the Canadian Regional Council of CPA was held. The
Council, which is the executive of the Canadian Region, took a number of
decisions regarding future activities.
It considered whether future
meetings should be held in conjunction with the Presiding Officers Conference
in January, separately in Ottawa in the Spring or as part of the Regional
Conference. After discussion it was agreed that the most convenient and cost
effective time was in conjunction with the Conference. Thus the 1997 Council
meeting will take place in Saskatchewan which will host the Conference. The
1997 Presiding Officers Conference will take place in Edmonton from January
The Council decided to accept
Quebec’s suggestion that the 1997 Regional Seminar be replaced by an
Inter-Parliamentary Conference on Free Trade in the Americas that will be held
in Quebec City from September 18-22. The 1998 Regional Seminar will be held in
20th Canadian Regional Seminar
The 1996 CPA Canadian Regional
Seminar will be held in Fredericton from October 25-27.
Invitations have been sent to all
provincial and territorial branches and to the federal branch inviting them to
send three delegates and one parliamentary officer to the conference. Branches
were also invited to submit topics of interest for the business sessions.
Arrivals and welcome reception are
scheduled for Friday, October 25th and departures on October 27th. The business
sessions are scheduled for Saturday, October 26th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
and Sunday, October 27th from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
New Speaker in British Columbia
Dale Lovick was born and raised in Vancouver and
obtained Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in English from the University of
British Columbia, and later a Master of Arts degree in Canadian Studies from
Carleton University in Ottawa. He is fluent in French.
He was an instructor at Malaspina
College in Nanaimo, where he taught courses in English and Canadian Studies,
and was head of the English Department and President of the Faculty
He edited Tommy Douglas Speaks,
a collection of Douglas’ speeches, published in 1979 and is a contributing
author in The Canadian Encyclopedia.
He was first elected as MLA in the
1986 general election and was re-elected in 1991 and 1996. He is a former
Deputy Speaker and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment,
Lands and Parks, and to the Minister of Forests.