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CPA Activities: The Canadian SceneCPA Activities: The Canadian Scene

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 Committee.

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 Suite.

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 DesRosiers (Ontario).

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.

Upcoming Events

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.

Canadian Parliamentary Review Cover
Vol 26 no 1

Last Updated: 2020-09-14