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Presiding Officers Conference

The 14th Conference of Canada’s Presiding Officers was held in Edmonton January 23 to 25, 1997. The Conference was hosted by the Speaker of the Alberta Legislative Assembly Stanley Schumacher and attended by 19 Speakers, Deputy Speakers and assistant presiding officers from jurisdictions across Canada. A number of Table Officers also attended.

Among the Presiding Officers in attendance were Speaker Gilbert Parent and David Kilgour (House of Commons), Speaker Louise Dacquay and Marcel Laurendeau (Manitoba); Percy Barrett (Newfoundland); Speaker Danny Gay and Greg O’Donnell (New Brunswick); Jane Groenewegen (NWT); Francene Cosman and Dennis Richards (Nova Scotia); Speaker Wilbur MacDonald and Greg Deighan (PEI); Speaker Jean-Pierre Charbonneau and Claude Pinard (Quebec); Speaker Glenn Hagel, Dale Flavel and Kim Trew (Saskatchewan); Speaker Gildas Molgat (The Senate) and Speaker Robert Bruce (Yukon).

The business sessions included three round table discussions devoted to "Developments in Jurisdictions" Provinces were given 7 minutes each to outline the situation in their legislature.

There were also a number of formal presentations including one by Speaker Hagel on "Outreach Programs – Educational Initiatives by the House". Other presentations were by Robert Marleau, Clerk of the House of Commons on "Management of Question Period", by Robert Vaive, Clerk Assistant of British Columbia on "Relations between Speakers and Deputy Speakers", Patrick Michael, Clerk of the Yukon on "Designation of Official Opposition" and Mark Audcent, Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel of the Senate on "The Limits of Privilege: Jurisdiction of Outside Investigatory Agencies with respect to an Assembly and its Members".

As is usually the case a great deal of useful information about the role of presiding officers was exchanged outside of the formal sessions. Next year the Conference will be held in British Columbia.

Canadian Parliamentary Review Cover
Vol 20 no 1

Last Updated: 2020-03-03