On February 27, 2003 Ted Staffen, Member for Riverdale
North, was elected Speaker of the Yukon Legislative Assembly. Mr. Staffen
was born in Nipawin, Saskatchewan.
Mr. Staffen was first elected
to the Assembly in the general election of November 4, 2002. He has a
background in the public sector, having worked as a legislative researcher for
the Yukon government. He has also served as Executive Assistant to cabinet
ministers and as director of research to cabinet. In the 1970s Mr. Staffen was
the community co-ordinator for the Lysyk inquiry into the building of the
Alaska Highway gas pipeline.
Mr. Staffen has private sector
experience as a business owner, a venture capital co-ordinator, a business
facilitator and business consultant in the energy, forestry and mining sectors
in the Yukon, the NWT and Alaska. He has been a founding director of several
companies in the Yukon and Alaska. He has also done contract research with the
Arctic Institute of North America on northern sustainable development.
Mr. Staffen holds a Bachelor
of Arts degree in Political Science from Simon Fraser University. He served two
terms as Director of the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce. He has chaired the
Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous, the Yukon Quest, and the Social Assistance Appeal
Canadian Presiding Officers’ Conference
The 20th Canadian Presiding Officers’ Conference
was held in Toronto, from January 23 - 26, 2003. Conference host, Ontario
Speaker Gary Carr, welcomed the delegates for two days of business
sessions. The delegates were also hosted to a reception by Ontario’s
Lieutenant Governor, James K. Bartleman, in the Lieutenant Governor’s
There were six topics
presented at the conference:
“Relocating Legislatures for
Special Sittings: The New York City Session of U.S. Congress”. The Chair
of this session was Speaker Bev Harrison (New Brunswick); the presenter
was Gary O’Brien, Deputy Clerk of the Senate.
The second topic, “Security at
the Legislative Assembly of Ontario”, was presented by Ontario’s
Sergeant-at-Arms, Dennis Clark. Chairing the session was Claude
The topic of the third
session, “Parliamentary Reform: Responding to Concerns of a Democratic Deficit”
was chaired by Michel Bissonnet, MNA (Quebec) while the topic was
presented by William Corbett, Clerk of the House of Commons.
The fourth topic to be
presented was “Parliamentary Assemblies and New Technologies: Issues, Pitfalls,
and Future Prospects”. This was chaired by Dr. John Weisbeck, MLA
(British Columbia). Presenting the topic was François Beaulne, MNA
(Quebec). There was a special presentation by Alfons Schöeps, Director
of European Operations, State Legislative Leaders Foundation and Executive
Director, Partnership of Parliaments.
The topic of the fifth
business session was “Masters of Our Own House – Judicial Consideration of
Parliamentary Privilege in the Northwest Territories”. Chairing this session
was Speaker George Hickes (Manitoba) and presenting the topic was Katherine
Peterson, Law Clerk (Northwest Territories).
The sixth presentation was
made by Neil Finkelstein (Blake, Cassels & Graydon – Ontario) on the
very timely “Parliamentary Privilege and the Courts in Canada”. Chairing
this final topic was Speaker Carr.
New Executive Secretary to
the Canadian Branch of CPA
The new Executive Secretary to
the Canadian Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association is Carol
Chafe. For the last five years she was Executive Secretary to the
Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group. She has also served as
Clerk of various House of Commons committees, most recently the Special
Committee on non-medical use of drugs. She replaces Maija Adamson who
has been Executive Secretary since 2000.
The next meeting of the
Canadian Regional Council will be held in Ottawa on June 7, 2003.
The CPA Regional Conference
will be held in Victoria from July 12-18 this year.
The Regional Seminar will take
place in Iqaluit from October 16-19, 2003.
The International CPA
Conference will take place in Bangladesh on October 3 - 14, 2003.