New Speaker in British Columbia
On September 12, 2005, Bill Barisoff, Member for Penticton- Okanagan Valley,
was elected as the 36th Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of British
Mr. Barisoff served as Minister of Water, Land and Air Protection and Minister
of Provincial Revenue in the previous BC Liberal government. Earlier,
Mr. Barisoff also held a variety of critic roles for the Official Opposition,
including agriculture, transportation and highways and aboriginal affairs.
He served on the province's Motor Carrier Commission and was a member of
the Select Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and the Select Standing
Committee on Agriculture and Fisheries.
First elected in 1996 to represent the riding of Okanagan-Boundary, Mr.
Barisoff was re-elected in 2001 for Penticton-Okanagan Valley. Mr. Barisoff,
who was born and raised in Oliver, owned a trucking firm before his election
to the Legislative Assembly. He served also as a school trustee for 18
years, including eight as chair of the Southern Okanagan school board;
was a volunteer firefighter in Oliver for over 25 years; and sat on the
Okanagan Labour Relations Council. He was also chair of the Oliver Recreation
Commission for one year.
New Speaker in Ontario
The new Speaker of the Ontario Legislative Assembly is Michael A. Brown.
He represents the riding of Algoma-Manitoulin.
Born in Sarnia, he is a graduate from Humber College of Applied Arts and
Technologies and the University of Western Ontario. Prior to entering provincial
politics he was the deputy mayor of Gore Bay and President of the Manitoulin
Municipal Association. He managed a small business and worked as a funeral
director on Manitoulin Island from 1974-1987. First elected in 1987, he
was re-elected in 1990, 1995, 1999 and 2003.
Mike Brown has held numerous key posts both in government and opposition.
He was Deputy Speaker of the Ontario Legislature in 1999. In opposition,
he was the Liberal critic for Seniors Issues, Natural Resources, and Northern
Development and Mines. In government he is a former Parliamentary Assistant
to the Minister of Natural Resources. He also chaired the Cabinet Committee
on Education Policy, and is a former member of the Legislative Committee
on Justice Policy.
Twenty-Seventh Canadian Regional Parliamentary Seminar
Prince Edward Island was host of the 27th Canadian Regional Parliamentary
Seminar from October 20-23, 2005. Approximately forty five delegates and
observers from all jurisdictions except the Northwest Territories were
represented. Speaker Greg Deighan of Prince Edward Island was the host
and several other Speakers attended including Harvey Hodder of Newfoundland
and Labrador, George Hicks of Manitoba, Jobie Nutarak of Nunavut and Ted
Staffer of Yukon.
Sessions were held at the Loyalist Lodge in Summerside PEI. The following
were the topics and the presenters.
Water Stewardship in Manitoba
Tom Nevakshonoff, MLA Manitoba
- Electoral Reform in Prince Edward Island
Leonard Russell, Chair of the Commission
of PEIs Electoral Future
- Women in Politics
Charlotte LÉcuyer, MNA, Quebec
- The Role of the Opposition during Question Period
Len Derkach, MLA, Manitoba
- The Changing Role of the MLA
Wally Stiles, MLA, New Brunswick
Aside from the business session delegates were offered an opportunity to
visit the Atlantic Wind Test Site at North Cape or visit one of PEIs potato
Speaker Deighan and staff headed by
Charles Mackay did everything to make
this a memorable visit to one of Canadas most picturesque and interesting
Fourth Canadian Parliamentary Seminar
From November 20-26, 2005 some twenty-one individuals from all parts of
the Commonwealth attended a seminar hosted by the Canadian Branch of CPA.
The first session dealt with the Commonwealth and the Role of the CPA.
The Speakers were Sarmite Bulte, Chair of the Canadian Branch and
Imlach from CPA Headquarters in London. The Clerk of the House of Commons,
Audrey O'Brien and the Deputy Clerk of the Senate, Gary O'Brien, provided
the delegates with an overview of the operation of the Canadian Parliament.
The following sessions were also held:
- The Canadian Political Scene
David Smith and Gary Lunn MP
- Getting There: Political Recruiting and Women in the Political Process
Neville MP and Judy Wasylycia-Leis MP
- The Parliamentary Presence of Political Parties: The Role of Party Caucuses
Terry Stratton and Andy Savoy MP
- Parliament and Civil Society
Paddy Torsney MP,
Derek Lee MP, Alexa McDonough
- How an MPs Office Works
John Maloney MP and
Gurmant Grewal MP
- Have the Media Taken Over the Representational Job of Parliamentarians?
Joan Fraser and Paul Wells, Maclean's Magazine
- Parliamentary Committees: What Works and What Doesn't
Bill Blaikie MP and
John Williams MP
- Engaging Citizens: Resources and Tools
Don Boudria MP and Gurmant Grewal
- Connecting with Constituents: Representing Pluralistic Constituencies
- Influencing Governments and Regulating Influence
Don Boudria, MP and Sean
Moore, Policy Advisor, Gowling Lafleur Henderson
A number of social events were arranged for the visiting parliamentarians
including a lunch hosted by Senate Speaker Dan Hays, a dinner hosted by
Speaker Peter Milliken and a dinner hosted by the Canadian Branch of CPA.
The seminar took place during the very hectic final week of the 37th Parliament
and delegates, many of who were from tropical climates, were also exposed
to the first snowstorm of the winter.
New Clerk of the House
On October 7, 2005 Audrey OBrien was appointed Clerk of the House of Commons
replacing William Corbett who retired. She had been Acting Clerk since
May 2005 and Interim Head of Parliamentary Precinct Services since March
A native of Quebec, Ms OBrien studied at Mount Saint Vincent University,
Carleton University and Queens University before joining the House of Commons
as a Committee Clerk in 1976. Over the years she has held a number of positions
in the House including: Executive Assistant to the Clerk of the House and
Principal Clerk of the Table Research Branch. She was named Clerk Assistant
(Corporate Resources) in 1999 and Deputy Clerk in July 2000.
She has served on attachments in the United Kingdom and Australia. Since
1996 she has been Secretary to the Conference of Commonwealth Speakers
and Presiding Officers.
New Parliamentary Librarian
William R. (Bill) Young was appointed Parliamentary Librarian in November
2005. He rejoins the Library of Parliament after a two-year secondment
to the Department of Social Development as Departmental Assistant to the
Deputy Minister. Previously, he held the position of Director, Political
and Social Affairs Division, at the Library.
As a professional historian, Dr. Young is the author of various books as
well as academic and popular articles. He has also written many parliamentary
reports. He has taught senior courses and seminars at McGill, Simon Fraser
and York universities. Last year, he held an appointment as Adjunct Professor,
Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Toronto. After receiving a B.A.,
Dr. Young went on to earn his M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of British