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CPA Activities: The Canadian SceneCPA Activities: The Canadian Scene

37th Canadian Regional Conference

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 agenda include:

  • Correcting Past Wrongs: When is it the Government’s Responsibility?
  • Conflict of Interest Guidelines – Too Little or too Much?
  • 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 Environmental File?
  • 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 19, 1998.

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 Mann Brewin.

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 General.

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 service.

Canadian Parliamentary Review Cover
Vol 21 no 2

Last Updated: 2020-03-03