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CPA Activities: The Canadian SceneCPA Activities: The Canadian Scene

Third Canadian Parliamentary Seminar

Delegates from seven of the eight Regions of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association gathered in Ottawa from November 23 to 29, 2003, for the Third Canadian Parliamentary Seminar.  The host of the Seminar was the Chair of the Canadian Branch Sarmite Bulte, MP. The following delegates were in attendance from the various Regions of the CPA.

Africa Region: Hon. Fluksman Samuehl, MP of Namibia and Hon. M.M.A. Nyama, Deputy Speaker and Hon. Justice Piitso, MLA from Limpopo Branch (formerly Northern Province of South Africa).

Indian Region: Shri Simranjit Singh Mann and  Dr. (Smt.) V. Saroja, MP of the federal Branch and Speaker Shri Satbir Singh Kadian from the Haryana State Branch.

Australian Region: Joanne Duncan MP, John Vogels, MLC from the Victoria Branch and Jaye Radisich MLA  and Hon. Barry House MLC from the Western Australia Branch.

British Isles and Mediterranean Region:  Nanette Milne MSP and Alasdair Morrison MSP from the Scottish Parliament and Jeff Cuthbert AM from the Welsh Assembly.

Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic Region: Dr. Neil McGill from Jamaica and Senator Dana Seetahal and Kelvin Ramnath, MP from Trinidad and Tobago.

Canadian Region:  Doug Martindale, MLA and Leanne Rowat, MLA of Manitoba and Richard Brown, MLA and Fred McCardle, MLA of Prince Edward Island.

Also in attendance representing the Secretariat of the CPA in London was Ms. Christina Ngwira.

During the week long seminar the following sessions were held:

  • The Commonwealth and the Role of the CPA, Bob Speller, MP
  • The Role and Operation of the Canadian Parliament, Audrey O’Brien, Deputy Clerk of the House of Commons
  • The Canadian Political Scene, Bev Desjarlais, MP, John Reynolds, MP, and Suzanne Tremblay, MP
  • Political Recruiting and Women in the Political Process, Eleni Bakopanos, MP, and John Reynolds, MP
  • The Role of Party Caucuses, Werner Schmidt, MP, and C.E.S. Franks, (Queen’s University)
  • Engaging Citizens:  Resources and Tools, Sue Barnes, MP, and Dr. Carolyn Bennett, MP
  • Connecting with Constituents Representing Pluralistic Constituencies, Madeleine Dalphond- Guiral, MP, and John McKay, MP
  • How an MPs Office Works, Dale Johnston, MP, and Paddy Torsney, MP
  • Dealing With the Media, John Harvard, MP, and Susan Murray, CBC News
  • Parliament and Civil Society, Senator Raynell Andreychuk, and Sean Moore, (Public Policy Advisor, Gowling, Lafleur, Henderson)
  • Parliament and Committees, Charles Caccia, MP, and John Williams, MP
  • Parliament and Lobbyists, Marlene Jennings, MP, and John Chenier, (Publisher of The Lobby Monitor)

The final session was devoted to topics suggested by the delegates and this included:  Bilingualism, Balancing Competing Interests Within One's Electorate, Mentoring newer MP Colleagues, Caucus Discipline, The Role the Commonwealth in the Development of the African Continent, the Implications for Civil Rights as result of Sept. 11,  and the Issue of HIV and AIDS.

Although Parliament was not is session due to prorogation there were a number of opportunities to meet MPs and Senators including the Speaker of the House Peter Milliken who hosted a reception for the visitors. Speaker Dan Hays of the Senate also met with them.  There was an address by Hugh Segal, President of the Institute for Research on Public Policy who spoke on Failing Legitimacy:  the Challenge for Parliamentarians.

The 21st Conference of Canadian Presiding Officers

Speakers and other presiding officers from every provincial and territorial legislature except Nunavut gathered in Ottawa for their annual conference which was held from January 7-9, 2004, in the Senate Chamber.

The co-hosts, Senate Speaker Dan Hays and Peter Milliken, Speaker of the House of Commons welcomed several new Speakers: Michel Bissonnet (Quebec), Alvin Curling (Ontario), Harvey Hodder (Newfoundland and Labrador), Greg Deighan (Prince Edward Island), Ted Staffen (Yukon), and David Krutko (Northwest Territories)

The following five working sessions were held.

  • Roundtable on the Neutrality of the Speaker in his/her role as a Member chaired by Speaker Hays with presentations by Speaker Milliken, Speaker Bissonnet and Speaker George Hickes (Manitoba).
  • Briefing of New Speakers and other Chair Occupants chaired by Speaker Myron Kowalsky (Saskatchewan) with a presentation by William Corbett, Clerk of the House of Commons.
  • Oral Question Period Revisited — Public Written Questions chaired by Speaker Murray Scott (Nova Scotia) with a presentation by Robert Vaive, Deputy Clerk of the British Columbia Legislative Assembly.
  • The Casting Vote chaired by Speaker Bev Harrison (New Brunswick) with a presentation by Patrick Michael, Clerk of the Yukon Legislative Assembly.
  • Judicial Protection Regime of the Members of the Quebec National Assembly chaired by Speaker Staffen with a presentation by François Côté, Secretary General of the Quebec National Assembly.

In addition to the Presiding Officers Conference a short meeting was held of the Canadian Region Council of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association to finalize arrangements for the CPA conference to be held in Canada later this year.

The Canadian Presiding Officers Conference was timed to coincide with the 17th Commonwealth Speakers and Presiding Officers Conference which took place from January 9-12, 2004.  Following adjournment of the Canadian Conference all the Presiding Officers were transported to Montebello for the start of the Commonwealth meeting.

Next year the Canadian Presiding Officers Conference will be held in Nova Scotia.

17th Commonwealth Speakers and Presiding Officers Conference

More than 100 Presiding Officers and parliamentary officials from thirty-four Commonwealth countries joined Canadian federal, provincial and territorial speakers for two days of discussions at the Chateau Montebello. The countries represented included Australia, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Botswana, Cameroon, Cook Islands, Cyprus, Fiji, The Gambia, Ghana, Guernsey, India, Isle of Man, Jamaica, Jersey, Keyna,  Lesotho, Malawi, Malta, Namibia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United Kingdom and Zambia.

The keynote address was given by the Chief Justice of Canada, Beverley McLachlin.

There were four items of business on the agenda with Plenary and workshop sessions devoted to each.  The topics and lead presenters were as follows:

  • Parliamentary Committees:  Making the Committee system more effective  (India)
  • Time Management in the House:  New approaches to an old Problem (United Kingdom)
  • The Public Image of Parliamentary Government (Australia)
  • The Role of Parliament in Promoting cohesion of the country (Singapore)

In addition to the business sessions a number of optional activities such as curling, snowshoeing and dog sledding were available to delegates who wanted to sample the way Canadians manage to amuse themselves during the long winters.

New Speaker in the NWT

The new Speaker of the Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly is David Krutko. He was chosen by acclamation on December 11, 2003.

First elected in 1995 and re-elected in 1999  Mr. Krutko has served as chairman and member of a number of Standing and Special Committees. During the 14th Assembly, Mr. Krutko held the position of Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Committee of the Whole. He also served as Deputy Chair of the Rules of Committee.

Mr. Krutko has worked as a negotiator on the Dene Metis Land Claim Agreement and was a senior negotiator on the Gwich’in and the Sahtu Agreements. Mr. Krutko has served as the Vice-President of the Metis Nation of the Northwest Territories, Vice-President of the Mackenzie Delta Tribal Council (now the Gwich’in Tribal Council), President of the Fort McPherson Metis Local, President of the Fort McPherson Hunters and Trappers Association, Councillor for the Fort McPherson Indian Band (now the Tetlit Gwich’in Council), Councillor for the Hamlet of Fort McPherson, Director of the Mackenzie Delta-Beaufort Sea Regional Planning Commission, member of the Gwich’in Land and Water Board, member of the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board, Director of the Metis Development Corporation and co-chairman of the Northwest Territories Tourism Training Group. Mr. Krutko also worked in the oil and gas industry in the Beaufort Sea and in Norman Wells in the 70s and 80s.

Canadian Parliamentary Review Cover
Vol 27 no 1

Last Updated: 2020-03-03