Seventh Canadian Parliamentary Seminar, Ottawa
From October 18-24, 2009 about twenty delegates from eleven branches of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association took part in a seminar organized by the Canadian Branch.
The host for the seminar was Russ Hiebert, Chair of the Canadian Branch. Among the legislatures represented were Sierra Leone, Seychelles, Namibia, New South Wales, the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man, Jamaica, India, New Zealand, India and two provincial legislatures, Prince Edward Island and Québec.
The topics and Speakers for the various sessions were as follows:
- Overview of the Role and Operation of the Canadian Parliament
Gary O’Brien, Clerk of the Senate
Audrey O’Brien, Clerk of the House of Commons
- The Commonwealth and the Role of the CPA
Russ Hiebert, MP, Chair, Canadian Branch, CPA
- The Canadian Political Scene
Senator David P. Smith
Senator Doug Finley
- Role of Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians
Maria Minna, MP
- Political Recruiting and Women in the Political Process
Judy Wasylycia-Leis, MP,
Candice Hoeppner, MP
- The Role of Party Caucuses
Marlene Jennings, MP
Guy Lauzon, MP
- Parliament and Civil Society
Dr. Sharon Manson-Singer, President of the Canadian Policy Research Network
Nicole Demers, MP
Bev Shipley, MP
- Have the Media Taken Over the Representational Job of Parliamentarians?
Senator Mike Duffy
- Parliamentary Committees: What Works and What Doesn’t
Senator Raynell Andreychuk
- Connecting with Constituents: Representing Pluralistic Constituencies
Devinder Shory, MP
- Influencing Governments and Regulating Influence: Parliament and Lobbyists
Tim Powers (Suma Strategies)
Don Boudria (former Minister and Member of Parliament)
The final session dealt with a variety of other topics suggested by the delegates.
During the course of the week a number of social events took place including a dinner hosted by House Speaker Peter Milliken, a lunch hosted by Senate Speaker Noël Kinsella, a tour of the National Art Gallery and a farewell dinner hosted by Mr. Hiebert.
Thirty First Canadian Regional Seminar, Yellowknife
The Speaker of the Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly, Paul Delorey, hosted the 31st Canadian Regional Parliamentary Seminar from September 17-20, 2009. Some thirty-five delegates and observers from 11 provincial and territorial assemblies attended the seminar.
The first business session chaired by Speaker Roger Fitzgerald of Newfoundland and Labrador, featured a presentation by John Ningark MLA of Nunavut on Parliaments’ Relationship with Aboriginal Self-governments. The second session was on Financial Compensation for Elected Members. The presenter was John O’Toole MPP of Ontario. The chair was George Dyck MLA of Manitoba.
The Clerk of the NWT Legislature, Tim Mercer, presented a paper on Consensus Government in the NWT at the third session. The chair was Randy Weekes MLA of Saskatchewan.
The New Standing Orders in Ontario were the topic for the fourth session which was presented by Michael Prue MPP of Ontario. The chair was Marilyn Brick MLA of Manitoba.
The final session was on the Orientation Program for Newly Elected Members by the Clerk of the British Columbia Legislative Assembly, George MacMinn. The chair was Greg Dewar MLA of Manitoba.
New Canadian Regional Representative
In September, at the International Commonwealth Parliamentary Association meeting in Tanzania, Joe Preston was elected as the Canadian federal Regional Represenative replacing Russ Hiebert whose three year term had expired.
He was first elected to the House of Commons for Elgin-Middlesex-London in 2004 and re-elected in 2006 and 2008. He is the Chair of the South West Ontario Caucus. His Parliamentary Committee work includes Chair of the Procedure and House Affairs Committee, Chair of the Subcommittee on Committee Budgets of the Liaison Committee. He is the Vice-Chair of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and Member of the NATO Parliamentary Association.
New Executive Secretary of the Canadian Branch of CPA
Stephanie Bond is the new Executive Secretary of the Canadian Branch of CPA. For the last four years she has been Secretary of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians, (CWP) Canadian Region. She replaces Carol Chafe who has taken on a new assignment with the Committees Branch of the House of Commons.