Forty Sixth Canadian Regional Conference, Nova Scotia
Fifty years ago the first meeting of Canadian members of the Commonwealth
Parliamentary Association took place in Halifax. From July 22-28, 2008
members again met in Nova Scotia which was marking its 250th anniversary
of representative government.
The host of the Conference was Speaker Alfie MacLeod of Nova Scotia and
a number of other Speakers attended including: Ken Kowalski (Alberta),
Kathleen Casey (Prince Edward Island), Steve Peters (Ontario), Roger Fitzgerald
(Newfoundland and Labrador), George Hickes (Manitoba), Roy Boudreau (New
Brunswick), Don Toth (Saskatchewan), Paul Delorey (Northwest Territories),
Ted Staffen (Yukon), and Peter Kilabuk (Nunavut).
The Conference was officially opened by the Lieutenant Governor of Nova
Scotia, Mayann E. Francis. Speaker MacLeod welcomed delegates and gave
them an overview of the many ways Nova Scotia has been a pioneer in the
development of democratic institutions. Claire Curtis-Thomas, MP of the
United Kingdom also spoke at the opening as did Pennelope Beckles, Deputy
Speaker of the Trinidad and Tobago House of Representatives. Both referred
to the special links between their country and Nova Scotia.
The topics and presenters were as follows:
From Billion Dollar Deficits to Billion Dollar Surpluses in Four Short
Presenter: Steve Kent, MHA, Newfoundland & Labrador
Manitobas Special Envoy for Military Affairs: The Journey
Korzeniowski, MLA, Manitoba
Chair: Speaker MacLeod
The Estimates Process: Issues and Reform
Presenter: Harry Bloy, MLA, British
Chair: Speaker Casey
Parliaments and Sustainable Development
Presenter: Geoffrey Kelley, MNA,
Chair: Speaker Peters
Democracy 250: Commemorating 250 years of Representative Government in
Presenters: Russell MacLellan, Premier of Nova Scotia (1997-1999)
and John Hamm, Premier of Nova Scotia (1999-2006)
Chair: Speaker Fitzgerald
The Nova Scotia House of Assembly: On the Cusp of Change?
Turnbull, Assistant Professor, Dalhousie University
Chair: Speaker Hickes
Democratic Reforms at the Legislative Assembly of Alberta
Chair: Speaker Toth
Supply Management Benefits to Producers and Consumers
McIsaac, MLA, Prince Edward Island
Chair: Speaker Delorey
During the course of the conference delegates were treated to numerous
examples of traditional Nova Scotian hospitality including a trip to Peggy's
Cove, a reception at Province House, a dinner at Pier 21, Canada's Immigration
Museum, and a musical performance by Drum! Both first time and return visitors
came away with a deep appreciation for the political, cultural, military
and sea-faring traditions of the host province. They were also unanimous
in their appreciation to Speaker MacLeod and his staff for an excellent
Meeting of Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Canadian Region
On July 21 the Annual Meeting of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians
was held in Halifax immediately before the Annual Canadian Regional Conference
In the morning the Steering Committee, chaired by Charlotte LÉcuyer, MNA,
Québec, met to discuss future projects. This was followed by several business
sessions. The first dealt with Campaign School and was chaired by Maria
Minna, MP. It featured a presentation by Carolyn Bolivar-Getson, MLA,
Nova Scotia and Minister, Advisory Council on the Status of Women.
The second and third session both dealt with the topic of women in leadership.
The second session was Chaired by Myrna Driedger MLA Manitoba and consisted
of a presentation by Alexa McDonough, MP and former Leader of the federal
New Democratic Party.
The third session was chaired by Katherine Whittred, MLA, British Columbia
and featured a presentation by the Speaker of the Prince Edward Island
Legislature, Kathleen Casey.
The final session was chaired by Susan Sullivan, MHA of Newfoundland and
Labrador. It was entitled Turning up the Volume and featured a presentation
by Fran Gagnon, Executive Director of Equal Voice.
New Chair of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians
The new Chair of the the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Canadian
Region is Maria Minna. She replaces Mme L'Écuyer from Québec whose term
expired. Ms Minna represents BeachesEast York in the House of Commons
and was Minister of International Co-operation from 1999 2002. She was
first elected to the House of Commons in 1993 and has been re-elected four
times. She is a former chair of the Finance Committee of the House of Commons,
the Social Policy Committee of the National Liberal Caucus, the Canada-Sri
Lanka Friendship Group and the Canadian Branch of the Parliamentary Network
for Nuclear Disarmament. She is presently critic for the Status of Women.