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
Australian Region: Joanne
Duncan MP, John Vogels, MLC from the Victoria Branch and Jaye
Radisich MLA and Hon. Barry House MLC from the Western
British Isles and
Mediterranean Region: Nanette Milne MSP and Alasdair Morrison
MSP from the Scottish Parliament and Jeff Cuthbert AM from the Welsh
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
- 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,
- 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,
- 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
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
- 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
- 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
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
- The Role of Parliament in Promoting cohesion of the
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.