This year the 37th
Canadian Regional Conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association will
be held in Toronto from July 18-24. The Conference brings together
federal, provincial and territorial parliamentarians for the discussion of
various public policy issues.
This year the topics on the
- Correcting Past Wrongs: When is it the Government’s
- Conflict of Interest Guidelines – Too Little or too
- Will Referenda Make Governments More Accountable?
- Parliament and the Courts – Who’s Legislating Whom?
- Year 2000 and Technology – Are we Ready?
- The Creation of Canada’s Two New Territories
- Have the Public and Government Abandoned the
- Pollsters, the Press and Political Winds of Fortune
The host of the Conference will
be the Speaker of the Ontario Legislature, Chris Stockwell. The
annual meeting of the Canadian Regional Council will take place on Sunday July
New Speakers in British
Columbia and Nova Scotia
Following the appointment of Dale
Lovick to Cabinet the members of the British Columbia Legislative Assembly elected
a new presiding officer on March 26, 1998. The new Speaker is Gretchen
Speaker Brewin was elected to
Victoria City Council in 1979 and served as councillor until her election as
Victoria’s first woman mayor in 1985. She was first elected to the legislature
in 1991 and re-elected in 1996 as the NDP member for Victoria-Beacon Hill. She
was Deputy Speaker from 1996-1998 and was elected Speaker by acclamation. She
is the third woman to occupy this office in British Columbia.
During her career she has served
on numerous Boards and Commissions including the Victoria Commonwealth Games
Board of Directors, the BC Ferry Corporation, the Capitol Regional District,
the Native Friendship Centre Capital Project Committee, the BC transit Commission
and many others.
In Nova Scotia the new Speaker
is Ronald Russell who has served as Speaker on two separate occasions
from 1978-1980 and 1991-1993.
When the House resumed on May 21
following the election Premier Russell MacLellan moved that the Rules of
Procedure be amended to provide for the election of Speaker by secret ballot.
This was adopted by unanimous consent.
Mr. MacLellan then nominated
former Speaker Gerald Fogarty. The Leader of the Opposition, Robert
Chisholm then nominated Mr. Russell. There being no other nominations an
election was held and Mr. Russell was declared Speaker.
Mr. Russell was first elected in
1978. In addition to his two previous terms as Speaker he has also held a
number of ministerial offices including Consumer Affairs, Health and Solicitor
Before entering public life Mr. Russell
served in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, the Royal Australian Air Force and
the RCAF. He retired with the rank of Squadron Leader after 25 years of