22nd Canadian Presiding Officers' Conference
The twenty-second Canadian Presiding Officers Conference was held in Halifax
from January 20-23, 2005. The host for the Conference was Speaker Murray
Scott of Nova Scotia. Other presiding officers in attendance were: Speakers
Peter Milliken (House of Commons), Bev Harrison (NB), Harvey Hodder (Newfoundland
and Labrador), Ted Staffen (YT), Greg Deighen (PE), George Hickes (MB),
Myron Kowalsky (SK), Ken Kowalski (AB), Paul Delorey (NT) and Alvin Curling
Speaker Kowalski chaired the first business session on The mechanics of
democracy: a made in B.C. electoral system. The presenter was Robert Vaive,
Clerk Assistant of the British Columbia Legislative Assembly.
The second session, chaired by Speaker Hodder, was entitled Omnibus bills:
have we run the wheels off? The presenter was Rod MacArthur, Chief Clerk,
of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly.
Speaker Staffen chaired the third session on Legislative scrutiny and
the Charter of Rights: a review of Senate practices and procedures. The
presenter was Gary OBrien, Deputy Clerk and Principal Clerk in the Senate.
The fourth business session, chaired by Speaker Deighan, featured a presentation
on The Speakers Outreach Program in Manitoba by Patricia Chaychuk, Clerk
of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly.
Speaker Hickes chaired the fifth session on Parliamentary reform under
consideration at the National Assembly and the preparation of a code of
ethics for Members. The presenter was Diane Leblanc, MNA, Vice-President
of the Quebec National Assembly.
The last session was entitled Board of Management: administrative functionary
or defender of the faith? The chair was Speaker Kowalsky and the presenter
was Tim Mercer, Clerk of the Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly.
Speaker Kowalsky also gave a special report on Monitoring the Ukraine
Aside from the discussions and warm hospitality offered by the host province
two huge snowstorms immediately before and during the Conference made this
a memorable experience for all who attended.