The 44th Canadian Regional Conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary
Association was held in Gatineau and Ottawa from July 8 to 14, 2006. The
Conference included the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians, Canadian Region
who met on July 9 and 10 on the theme of Transition and Balance. Their
Conference consisted of three sessions with presentations by Sue Barnes
MP on The Transition from Government to Opposition; by Marion Dewar former
Mayor of Ottawa and MP on Transition from Town Hall to the House of Commons
and by Suzanne Tremblay former MP on Maintaining Balance throughout a Political
The CWP delegates also considered and approved a constitution and a budget
to be presented to the Canadian Regional Council later in the week.
The Regional Conference started on July 11 with approximately 100 delegates
from all federal, provincial and territorial jurisdictions. Delegates
were welcomed to the National Capital by Russ Hiebert MP, Chair of the
Canadian Branch of CPA. The other speakers during the official opening
were Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker of the Senate of Canada, Charlotte L'Écuyer,
MNA, Chair of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians, Canadian Region,
and Denis Marshall, Secretary General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary
The theme of the first business session was Electoral Reform with presentations
by Harry Bloy, Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, David McKenna
and Richard Brown, Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island and Mme
L'Écuyer and Martin Lemay of the Quebec National Assembly.
The second business session was a panel on the Western Hemisphere Travel
initiative with three Ontario MLAs, Ted Arnott, Bruce Crozier, and Michael
Prue. The topic for the third session was the Communications Plan of the
Québec National Assembly and featured a presentation by Quebec Speaker
The theme of the fourth session was Challenges of Women in Canadian Politics:
Responsibilities of Political Parties, Legislators and the Public The
presenters were: Sue Barnes, MP, Olive Crane MLA, Prince Edward Island,
Nicole Demers, MP, Judy Junor MLA, Saskatchewan and Mme L'Écuyer MNA, Quebec.
The theme of the fifth session was Politics and Family Balance with a
presentation by John Betts, Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly
of New Brunswick. The sixth session was on Privacy in the Age of Technology
the Need to Protect Personal Information. The speaker was Mavis Taillieu,
The seventh session consisted of a film by CTV journalist Lisa Laflamme
entitled, Outside the Wire. It dealt with the Canadian mission in Afghanistan.
The ensuing discussion was moderated by Senator Raynell Andreychuk. The
eighth and final business session consisted of a presentation on Making
Government Accountable by John Baird, President of the Treasury Board
Aside from the business sessions delegates and observers were treated to
a number of other events including a reception and dinner hosted by Speaker
Kinsella in the Parliament Buildings and a reception and dinner hosted
by Speaker Peter Milliken at the Canadian War Museum. There was also an
excursion by boat to Montebello and a visit to Manoir Papineau National
Historic Site and to Parc Oméga. The farewell dinner was hosted by Gord
Brown, MP, Acting Chair of the Canadian Branch CPA.
Regional Council Meeting
On July 13, 2006 the Canadian Regional Council held its annual meeting
to consider the business of the Canadian Region of the Commonwealth Parliamentary
Association. The meeting was chaired by Speaker George Hickes of Manitoba
since Manitoba will be hosting the Regional Conference next year. Other
Speakers in attendance were: Ken Kowalski, (Alberta), Bill Barisoff (British
Columbia), Michael Malley (New Brunswick), Harvey Hodder (Newfoundland
and Labrador), Paul Delorey (Northwest Territories), Peter Kilabuk (Nunavut),
Michael Brown (Ontario), Gregory Deighan (Prince Edward Island), Michel
Bissonnet (Quebec), Myron Kowalsky (Saskatchewan) and Ted Staffen (Yukon).
Also in attendance were Deputy Speaker Wayne Gaudet of Nova Scotia, Sue
Barnes, Gord Brown, and Charlotte L'Écuyer.
The main item on the agenda was consideration of the constitution and budget
of the newly formed Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians, Canadian Section.
After discussion it was agreed to amend the rules of the Canadian Region
to add the CWP and to provide funds in the budget for its activities.
Sites for several future meetings and conferences were confirmed including
the next Council meeting which will be held in Winnipeg in July 2007.
Finally the Council considered a request by the Parliamentary Centre to
nominate a representative to the Board of Directors of the Centre and Speaker
Kowalski of Alberta agreed to serve in this capacity.