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CPA Activities: The Canadian SceneCPA Activities: The Canadian Scene

36th Conference of the Canadian Region of CPA, Regina

The annual parliamentary conference will be held this year in Saskatchewan from July 12-19.

There will be eight business session dealing with a variety of issues of interest to federal, provincial and territorial legislators.

As is customary at these conferences a number. of activities designed to permit delegates and observers to familiarize themselves with the local culture and history are also included in the program.

On Saturday July 12 the Executive of the Association,, the Canadian Regional Council will hold its annual meeting.

New Speakers

As a result of elections, resignations and retirements there are new Speakers in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Alberta and Yukon.

Nova Scotia 

A native of Concession, Wayne Gaudet had been a resident of Church Point since 1979.

Following graduation from Clare District High School, he obtained his Bachelor of Arts from Universite Sainte-Anne in 1977 and Bachelor of Education from St. Mary's University in 1978. He began his teaching career at Clare District High School the same year. He co-ordinated the Work Experience Program with students and local employers. He had experience in school administration. He was vice-principal and later principal of the Clare District Junior High.

Mr. Gaudet was active in community affairs as a member of the Board of Directors of the Clare Acadian Festival, Board of Directors of the St Mary's Credit Union and CJA (youth summer camp in Concession). He was active in Clare Minor Hockey and the Clare Gentleman's Hockey League.

He was first elected to the House of Assembly in 1993 and appointed Minister of Agriculture and Marketing and also Minister Responsible for Acadian Affairs. Mr. Gaudet became Speaker of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly on November 18, 1996.

Prince Edward Island

Wilbur B. MacDonald was born at Orwell, PEI and educated at Orwell Public School and St. Dunstan's High School. Mr. MacDonald was elected to the House of Commons in May 1979 and he seined on committees on agriculture, fisheries and regional industrial expansion. He was a member of the National Beef Import Committee in 1979, representing the Maritime provinces and appointed chairman of the PEI Land Use Commission in 1980. He was an unsuccessful candidate in the federal election of 1980 and the federal by-election of 1981.

In 1982 he was elected to the provincial legislature and was selected chairman of the Progressive Conservative caucus. He was chairman of legislative committees on agriculture, fisheries, tourism and industry in 1983-1984. On November 27, 1984, he was appointed Minister of Industry. He was re-elected in the general election in 1986 but defeated in 1989 and 1993 before returning to the House on November 18, 1996. He was elected Speaker of the Legislative Assembly on January 3, 1997. He is chair of the Legislative Management Committee and the Legislative Audit Committee.

Mr. MacDonald is active in community work. He is past president ,and now director of the Sir Andrew MacPhail Foundation. He was actively involved in various farm organizations and the 4-H movement. He is a charter member and past president of the Vernon River Lions Club and of the Vernon River Council of the Knights of Columbus. He is Vice-President-Administration of the PEI Right to Life Association. He 'was a member of the National Parole Board from 1990-93.


The newly elected Speaker of the Alberta Legislative Assembly is Ken Kowalski. He has been the MLA for Barrhead-Westlock since 1979. He was born in Bonnyville, Alberta and received his education in Alberta graduating from the University of Alberta with a degree training in education.

He taught high school in Barrhead, Alberta from 1969 to 1974 and coached the National Reach for the Top High School Academic Championship Team from Barrhead in 1973. In 1974, Mr. Kowalski joined the Government of Alberta as Executive Assistant to the Deputy Premier. He was appointed Deputy Minister, Regional Transportation Services in 1979. In 1979 he resigned to run for election as an MLA.

Since his election, M:r. Kowalski has held a variety of positions. He has served as Chair of the Select Committee on Surface Rights, Chair of the Heritage Savings Trust Fund Select Committee and as a member of the Syncrude Board of Directors. He was appointed Minister of the Environment and Minister of Alberta Public Safety Services in 1986. After his re-election in 1989, he was appointed to Cabinet as Minister of Public Works, Supply and Services, the Wild Rose Foundation and ACCESS Corporation. lie has also served as Minister of Career Development and Employment and as Minister of Economic Development and Tourism responsible for Technology Research and Telecommunications, International Trade Offices and Lotteries. He was Government House Leader from June 15, 1993 to December 15, 1993. NLr. Kowalski served as Deputy Premier from 1992 to 1994.

Mr. Kowalski has received a number of honours during his term as a Member of the Legislative Assembly. Most notably in August 1992 from the Ukrainian Canadian Congress - Alberta Provincial Council Special Achievement Award; December 1992 - Governor General's Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Canadian Confederation; Mr. Kowalski was honoured on April 24, 1993 when The Alexis First Nations bestowed upon him the title of Honourary Chief Wa-she-zu-Chada-ooshege-na (White Man with a Kind Heart).


In an unusual series of events the new Speaker in Yukon, Robert Bruce, is also the old Speaker. On September 30, 1996 he was elected as the Member for the electoral district of Vuntut Gwich'in. He was subsequently elected Speaker of the House on December 4, 1996. His election as MLA for Vuntut Gwich'in was declared void and set aside by a Supreme Court order on February 27, 1997. On March 24, 1997, the first day of the Spring Sitting, Doug Livingston, Member for Lake Laberge was elected Speaker.

On April 1, 1997 Mr. Bruce was re-elected as MLA for Vuntut Gwich'in in a by-election and was sworn in as a member on April 14. Mr. Livingston resigned as Speaker upon adjournment of the House on Thursday April 10. The next sitting day, Monday April 14 Mr. Bruce was once again elected Speaker.

New Lieutenant-Governor in New Brunswick

Marilyn Trenholme Counsell was born in on April 18, 1997. A medical doctor and cabinet minister, she is a well-known public figure in New Brunswick. She was born in Baie Verte on October 22, 1933.

After studying science at Mount Allison University, she obtained her medical degree from the University of Toronto. She also studied at the University of New Brunswick and Cornell University. Dr. Trenholme worked as a consultant nutritionist with the New Brunswick and Ontario departments of health, and as a family physician in Toronto and Sackville, New Brunswick. She was first elected to the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick in 1987. Since 1995 she has served as Minister of State for Family and Community Services.

New Clerk in PEI

Verna Bruce was born and raised near Charlottetown, PEI. She received her elementary and secondary education in PEI, graduating from Charlottetown Rural High School in 1970. She spent one year at Mount Allison University on full scholarship, then transferred to Carleton University. She graduated in 1974 with a bachelor's degree in economies, with an emphasis on regional economic development and the economics of third world countries.

In 1975, Ms. Bruce began to work with Treasury Board as a budget analyst. After two years, she accepted a position with :he Department of Social Services as a policy analyst, and later progressed from senior planner to team leader of the Research, Evaluation and Development Team witlan the combined Department of Health and Social Services. In the early 1980s, she was seconded to a project with the Cabinet Committee on Employment Development and later to the Hospital and Health Services Commission as senior policy advisor to the chief executive officer. During this part of her career, she wrote legislation, designed numerous new programs for government, including the first Job Creation Program, a radiation safety program and a student venture capital program, and was heavily involved in federal-provincial relations.

She was appointed as the first director of home care and support in 1985, and had the opportunity to design and create the initial integrated program for home care in the province. In December of 1988, she was appointed Assistant Deputy  Minister of Health and Social Services, and one year later was named Deputy Minister for that department. She has also served as Deputy Provincial Treasurer and Secretary to Management Board, Deputy Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Training and Adult Learning. In December 1996, she was appointed as Clerk of the Executive Council and Secretary to Cabinet, and Clerk of the Legislative Assembly.

Canadian Parliamentary Review Cover
Vol 20 no 2

Last Updated: 2020-09-14