42nd Canadian Regional Conference
The Annual Conference of the Canadian
Region of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association will take place in
Victoria, British Columbia from July 12-18, 2003. The opening ceremonies will
be held in the Legislative Assembly Chamber with business sessions in the
Crystal Ballroom of the Fairmont Empress Hotel.
The agenda includes the following
- Oxford Style Debate: The Effectiveness of the Private
- Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform: A
Made-in-BC Consultative Process
- Public Perception of Parliamentarians: The Role of
Public Outreach Programs
- The News Media and Parliament: The Role of the Fourth
- Making Parliament Work for Parliamentarians: The Case
for Practical Reforms
- Polling: Legitimacy and Impact on the Public Policy
- Health Care: Reinventing the Wheel?
- Educating our Children: Measures of Effectiveness and
In addition to the business sessions delegates
will have a opportunity to participate in many other activities including a
tour of the Butchart Gardens, a naval cruise on the HMCS Vancouver, and a
reception hosted by the Lieutenant Governor.
Canadian Regional Council Meeting
The Canadian Regional Council of the
Commonwealth Parliamentary Association consisting of the Chairs of the federal,
provincial and territorial branches was scheduled to meet in Ottawa on June 7,
2003 to transact the business of the Association. However, as a result of several
provincial elections and other commitments by various Speakers it was decided
to postpone the meeting until the conference in Victoria.
The main topic on the agenda will be a
report on preparations for the International Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
Conference to be held in Canada in 2004.
New Speaker in Quebec
On June 4, 2003, Michel Bissonnet
was unanimously elected Speaker of the Quebec National Assembly.
A native of Montreal he studied law at
the University of Montreal and was called to the Quebec Bar in 1977. He served
as Mayor of the City of Saint Leonard from 1978-1981. First elected to the
National Assembly in 1981 representing the riding of Jeanne Mance, he was
re-elected in 1985, 1989, 1994, 1998 and in 2003 in the new riding of Jeanne
Mr. Bissonnet has served as Deputy
Speaker for a total of nine years under three different Speakers and has held a
number of other positions during his twenty two years in the National Assembly.
For example he has been opposition critic for Communications, Consumer
Protection, and Access to Information. He has been a member of several
Commissions including Social Affairs, Culture, Transport and the Environment,
and the Commission on Institutions.
He has been on the Executive Committee of
the Liberal Party of Quebec, Chairman of the Liberal Caucus, and Deputy Whip of
the Official Opposition. Mr. Bissonnet is a former Chairman of the Quebec
Section of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. He was on the organizing
Committee for the Conference marking the Bicentenary of Quebec’s Parliamentary
Institutions in 1992.